Retail sales, which drive 70% of U.S. economic growth, rose four-tenths of 1% in August, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Friday morning.
Suddenly headlines changed, growing less grim than they've been lately.
Friday's retail report quelled growing worries reflected in recent headlines in the financial press about the inversion of the yield curve, the 11-month plunge in manufacturing sector activity, the trade-war with China, and a global economic slowdown hurting the U.S. economy.
Friday's report of an increase of 0.4% in total retail sales in August over July was driven by a jump in auto sales.
Total retail sales in August were 4.1% higher than in August 2018. For the three-month period from June through August 2019, retail sales were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.
The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped fractionally on Friday but was up slightly from last week, closing less than 1% off its all-time record high, set in July.
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