U.S. retail sales rose solidly in June as households boosted purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods, cementing expectations for robust economic growth in the second quarter.
Signs of a strengthening economy, together with a tightening labor market and firming inflation, likely will keep the Federal Reserve on track to continue raising interest rates this year.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell offered an upbeat assessment of the economy last Friday, telling lawmakers that “over the first half of this year, overall economic activity appears to have expanded at a solid pace.” The U.S. central bank raised interest rates in June for the second time this year and has forecast two more rate hikes by the end of 2018.
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