Rise in US Retail Sales in August, Rise in Unemployment Claims

U.S. retail sales rose unexpectedly in August, likely driven by the back-to-school shopping season and government child tax credit payments, which could dampen expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth. in the third quarter.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday that retail sales were up 0.7% last month. July data has been revised down to reflect a 1.8% decline in retail sales, instead of the reported 1.1% in precedence.

Economists interviewed by Reuters had expected retail sales to decline by 0.8%.

Retail sales held steady even as spending shifted from goods to services such as travel and entertainment, though rising COVID-19 infections are likely to delay a rebound in service spending.

A separate report from the Department of Labor revealed Thursday that jobless claims in the United States increased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 332,000 in the week ending 9/11.

Economists had expected jobless claims to hit 330,000 in the past week.

Hurricane Ida likely contributed to increased jobless claims as it damaged power generation in the US Gulf and caused power outages. in Louisiana.

Unemployment claims fell from an all-time low of 6.149 million at the beginning of April 2020. A level between 200 and 250 thousand is considered in in line with the sound conditions of the labor market.

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