U.S. retail sales for August missed economists’ forecasts, even as demand for automobiles remained strong, indicating a major part of the economy has slowed in the third quarter. The U.S. Commerce Department announced this morning that retail sales rose 0.2 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in July. That gain is the smallest increase in four months. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to increase by 0.4 percent overall and 0.3 percent minus autos, gasoline and building materials. The so-called core sales increased 0.1 percent after advancing 0.6 percent in July. Following the retail sales release, Barclays downgraded U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product growth to 1.5 percent, from 1.6 percent.
Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker,
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Hilary Kramer is an investment analyst and portfolio manager with 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Since 2010, Hilary's financial publications have provided stock analysis and investment advice to her subscribers: