U.S. consumer spending dips in July, a first since January

U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed.

Consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to 0.2 percent in July, the weakest showing in seven months.

Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.

Economists had expected spending would slow in July based on reports of weak retail sales, but they said the slowdown should be temporary given the fact that job growth has been so strong.

Illinois-based Kraft recalls improperly stored cheeses

Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.

The food manufacturer said that, while unlikely, the product may spoil prematurely or cause a food borne illness.

Kraft Foods Group Inc., which is based in Northfield, Illinois, said the supplier didn’t keep the ingredient stored in accordance with its temperature standards.

The recalled products come in four varieties with “Best When Used By” dates of Feb. 20, 2015, and Feb. 21, 2015.

Kraft said customers can return the products to the store they bought them from for a refund or an exchange. Customers can also call Kraft at 800-396-5512.

Agreement mends fences for Orbitz, American Airlines

After a three-day public tiff, Orbitz said Friday that it had reached an agreement with the airline that will allow it to continue selling American Airlines and US Airways tickets on its websites.

Terms of their agreement were not disclosed. The online travel company said that tickets previously bought on its sites are still valid.

American, which combined with US Airways in December, pulled flight listings from Orbitz sites as part of a dispute over the fees Orbitz charges to list and sell the flights. American said on Tuesday that it had already dropped its fares from Orbitz.com, CheapTickets, and ebookers.com, and said that US Airways would do the same on Monday.

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. shares rose 3.4 percent to $8.20 on Friday, but were still off 4 percent for the week. The Chicago company’s stock rose 5 cents to $8.25 in aftermarket trading.

– From news service reports