“U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending, suggesting the economy continued to gain momentum early in the third quarter,” CNBC reports. “The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that retail sales jumped 0.6 percent last month. That was the largest gain since December 2016 and followed June’s upwardly revised 0.3 percent rise.”

“Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4 percent in July,” CNBC reports. “May’s retail sales were also revised up to show no change instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent dip. Retail sales increased 4.2 percent in July on a year-on-year basis.”

“Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the second quarter,” CNBC reports. “That boosted GDP growth to a 2.6 percent rate in the April-June period.”

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