US consumer spending rose in July as households stepped up car purchases, offering further evidence of strength in the economy that keeps the door open to a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year.

While other data showed consumer sentiment dipped in August, likely as households fretted over a recent stock market sell-off, confidence remained at levels consistent with solid consumer spending growth.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, increased 0.3% last month after a similar gain in June.

Spending on long-lasting manufactured goods such as cars increased by 1.1%, reversing June's drop.

When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.2% after being flat in June.

"We score this report as a solid adjunct to yesterday's strong GDP report that should encourage members of the Fed's policy-making committee that income and spending fundamentals remain in good shape," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

The US economy grew at a 3.7% annual rate in the second quarter. The consumer spending data was the latest report indicating momentum in the economy as it confronted recent global financial markets turbulence, sparked by concerns over a slowing Chinese economy, which has diminished the chances of an interest rate increase next month.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer told CNBC on Friday that there had been "a pretty strong case" for a September lift-off in the central bank's short-term interest rate before the stock markets sell-off. However, he said it was too early to decide whether the turmoil had made a rate hike next month less compelling.

Prices for US Treasury debt fell on Mr Fischer's comments, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies. US stocks slipped after two days of hefty gains.