The good news is that, against economists expectations, the Commerce Department on Thursday reported that Americans boosted their spending substantially in August. The bad news is that July spending figures were revised substantially lower.
Retail sales rose 0.3% in August from July, adjusted for seasonal swings but not inflation, versus estimates that they would be unchanged. But sales in July are now figured to have shown a 0.4% decline from June; previously they were reported to be flat. And wait, there’s more: June sales figures were nudged up.