U.S. consumer spending rose for a second straight month in May on increased demand for automobiles and other goods, but there are fears Britain's vote to leave the European Union could hurt confidence and prompt households to cut back on consumption.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.4 percent last month, pointing to an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.
Consumer spending in April was revised up to show it advancing 1.1 percent instead of the previously reported 1.0 percent jump. Last month's increase in consumer spending was in line with economists' expectations.
Last Thursday's so-called "Brexit" referendum wiped off an estimated $3.01 trillion from global stock markets over two days. Economists say if the financial turbulence persists, that could hurt consumer confidence and cause companies to either delay or scale back capital projects, exerting further downward pressure on business investment.
So far, economists are forecasting that Brexit will subtract an average of two-tenths of a percentage point from U.S. growth over the next six quarters.