Adding further fuel to the economic growth was the Department of Commerce saying yesterday that retail sales grew 0.5% in June–6.6% from a year ago after rising 1.3% in May.

“Robust job gains, rising after-tax incomes, and optimism among households have lifted consumer spending in recent months. Investment by businesses has continued to grow at a healthy rate,” said Powell. “Good economic performance in other countries has supported U.S. exports and manufacturing. And while housing construction has not increased this year, it is up noticeably from where it stood a few years ago.”

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As of 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 25 points, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were both up 0.5%.

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