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Auto Sales Revved Up August Retail Spending

from The Wall Street Journal,

Otherwise, shoppers didn’t spend much more than in July, prompting forecasters to slightly lower their estimates for U.S. growth.

Spending on vehicles drove strong retail sales in August, suggesting American shoppers continue to support the economy at a time of heightened global uncertainty. Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in August from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Friday. The robust report beat economists’ expectations and came on the heels of stronger spending in July than initially estimated, a 0.8% rise. The data provide reassurance that household spending remains an economic bulwark against signs of a global slowdown, though perhaps not enough to prevent some softening in U.S. growth in the third quarter.

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