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Data for September was revised lower to show core retail sales rising 0.3 percent instead of gaining 0.5 percent as previously reported. Core retail sales fell 0.2 percent in August rather than being unchanged. While that suggests some loss of momentum in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, consumption is being supported by the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package mens cufflink sets uk sale. Declining oil prices are seen aiding retail sales in the months ahead..
A robust labor market, marked by a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, is also underpinning spending. The lowest jobless rate in nearly 49 years is boosting wages, with annual wage growth recording its biggest increase in 9-1/2 years in October. Jobs market strength was underscored by a separate report from the Labor Department on Thursday showing a marginal increase in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week. Strong domestic demand and a tightening labor market support views that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in December for the fourth time this year mens cufflink sets uk sale. The U.S. central bank last Thursday kept rates unchanged, but said data “indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate.”..
“The backdrop of strong growth and subdued inflation should keep the Fed on track for continued gradual rate hikes through the first half of 2019,” said Veronica Clark, an economist at Citigroup in New York. The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies after Thursday’s data, while U.S. Treasury yields fell. Stocks on Wall Street were mixed mens cufflink sets uk sale. The retail sales pace, if sustained, could keep the economy on a solid growth path even as business investment is slowing, the trade deficit is expected to deteriorate further and the housing market continues to weaken..
The economy’s strength was highlighted by higher-than-expected quarterly sales from Walmart on Thursday. The world’s largest retailer raised its full-year outlook mens cufflink sets uk sale. Though the Commerce Department said it could not isolate the impact of Hurricanes Florence and Michael on October’s retail sales, the storms probably buoyed purchases of automobiles and building materials last month amid recovery efforts. Auto sales jumped 1.1 percent last month after falling 0.1 percent in September. Sales at building material stores surged 1.0 percent in October..
There were also increases in sales at clothing stores, online retailers and service stations last month. Americans also spent more on hobbies and at bookstores, while cutting back on furniture purchases. But spending at restaurants and bars slipped 0.2 percent, likely hurt by Michael, which soaked the Florida Panhandle in mid-October mens cufflink sets uk sale. Sales at restaurants and bars dropped 1.5 percent in September. Other data on Thursday offered a mixed picture of the manufacturing sector in early November. The New York Fed said its Empire State general business conditions index rose to a reading of 23.3 this month from 21.1 in October..