Retail sales rise for third month, but slide feared without new relief

Check out the store hours for this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales as announced by major retailers. Note that hours may vary by location (most notably due to state laws in Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts), so be sure to check your local store.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their retail purchases by 1.2% in July, with solid gains in appliances and clothing, restoring sales to their level before the novel coronavirus pandemic erupted in March.
Sales at retail stores and restaurants have risen for three straight months, after enormous plunges in March and April, when the pandemic suddenly shuttered businesses and paralyzed the economy.
Still, fueling much of that spending was government relief spending that had put more money in people’s pockets but has since expired.
With Americans’ overall income likely shrinking, economists expect a potential drop in spending and a weakening of economic growth.