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In the News This Week

The number of job openings in the US held near a 13-year high, falling slightly in July to 4.67 million, according to the Labor Department’s JOLTS report. The decline was led by a drop in government job postings, while businesses posted more jobs. Total hiring rose to 4.87 million, the highest since December 2007.


Consumer sentiment rose to the highest level in over a year, as the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index rose to a reading of 84.6 – the highest since July 2013. The increase came on upbeat views of the economy over the next year.


Also suggesting that Americans are more confident about the economy, consumers stepped up their borrowing in July, with consumer credit jumping 9.7% to $3.24 trillion – the largest increase in three years. The gain was driven by a 10.6% increase in auto and student loans, and a 7.4% increase in credit card debt.

Meanwhile, retail sales rose in August, led by auto sales. Buying also picked up for electronics, sporting goods, building materials and at restaurants. Sales fell at gas stations and department stores.

Small business optimism edged higher in August, with more business owners saying that they plan to increase spending.

Business inventories rose a modest .4% in July, pushing total stockpiles to $1.75 trillion. Sales increased at the fastest pace in three months, which may boost confidence and lead to a further boost in inventories (a slowdown in stockpiling subtracted 1.2% of the economy’s growth at the beginning of the year).


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