Americans still spending as jobs decline
Americans continued to spend at a brisk pace in August despite surging COVID-19 cases. Online sales soared by 5.3 percent. Some sectors of the economy felt the impact of the delta variant: Sales at restaurants remained flat. But retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in August from the month before. That uptick caught most economists by surprise.
What’s happening with jobs? Unemployment claims rose last week after falling to a pandemic low the week before. About 332,000 people filed for jobless benefits, a rise of about 6 percent. That could be a sign that the spread of the delta variant is triggering an increase in layoffs.
Dig deeper: Listen to Nick Eicher and David Bahnsen discuss the state of the economy on The World and Everything in It Moneybeat segment.
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