Economy Continues Sputtering Forward

AnchorageDailyNews tells MHProNews consumer spending in July rose 0.4 percent over June, the best rate in five months, following no change in June and a small decline in May. Retail spending offset weak manufacturing. Income grew in July 0.3 percent, the same for May and June, and people earned 0.3 percent more after taxes in July over June. Paul Dales, with Capital Economics, said the economy is slowly improving, but cautioned that higher gasoline prices and a drop in consumer confidence could slow consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. Economists expect the government’s jobs report, set to be released Sept. 7, will show 118,000 new jobs were added in August, and that the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent. Notwithstanding food and energy,  the Federal Reserve reports prices over the past year rose only 1.6 percent.

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