Us Consumer Spending Accelerating Labor Market Robust

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WASHINGTON – U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in May as consumers bought motor vehicles and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

Other data on Thursday showed a further tightening in labor market conditions, with first-time applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly falling last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls declining to a near 44-1/2-year low.

The reports came a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a second time this year and offered an upbeat assessment of the economy. The U.S. central bank described economic activity as “rising at a solid rate” and the labor market as continuing to “strengthen.” The Fed forecast two more rate hikes in the second half of 2018.




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