“The economy appears to be very well-positioned to continue to grow,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors. “The persistently optimistic consumer sector is doing its part to keep the growth engine going, and retailers are benefiting.”

For this school year, retail shops are expecting a robust shopping season as multinational professional firm Deloitte is forecasting that this year’s back-to-school spending will increase by 2.2 percent to $27.6 billion, with the average spending per household rising to $510 from $501 last year, including $112 on school supplies–up from $104 the previous year.

Related: Data Bodes Well for Retail ETFs

July’s increase in retail sales portends to the economy kicking off the third quarter in solid fashion after logging its best performance in nearly four years in the second quarter. This, backed by today’s record-setting S&P 500 level, suggest the economy is full steam ahead.

For more information on the consumer sector, visit our consumer discretionary category.

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