Fresh signs of a robust economy emerged Friday, but they fed concerns about a new round of inflation. Financial markets slid further.
The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending shot up 0.8 percent in July, fastest in six months, while sales of new homes rose 0.9 percent, the third straight advance.
At the same time, the Purchasing Management Association of Chicago said its index of area business activity rose to 64.3 percent in August, more than recovering a slight drop to 60.6 percent in July.
The Dow Jones industrial average, after bouncing around throughout the day, ended down 72.01 to 7,622.42, extending the week’s decline to 265.49 points.
In other reports this week:
The Commerce Department said the gross domestic product, the sum of all goods and services produced within the United States, grew at at a robust 3.6 percent in the second quarter.
The Conference Board said consumer confidence unexpectedly rose almost three points to 129.1 in August, a sign consumer spending and growth may pick up in the coming months.
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