Tepid retail sales lower expectations for economic growth

A sluggish month of retail spending has tempered expectations for the U.S. economy’s growth in the coming months.

Consumers pulled back on shopping and eating out in July after three straight solid monthly gains, the government said Friday. Those declines were offset by increases in auto sales and online and catalog sales.

Many economists credited the surge in online and catalog spending, which rose 1.3 percent, mainly to deals offered during Amazon’s “Prime Day” on July 12. Amazon said its sales rose 60 percent on Prime Day compared with a year earlier.

Still, the flat reading for overall retail sales suggested that the economy might not rebound as quickly from a slump that struck early this year as economists had been expecting.

Combined, Friday’s economic reports make it even less likely that the Fed will raise interest rates before December.

Read more: Kansas City Star


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