By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Retail sales did not meet expectations and the number of job openings declined in states around the country, newly released federal data show.
The U.S. Census Bureau released data Wednesday showing retail sales remained unchanged for July, despite expectations of a 0.1% increase. A drop in gas prices and auto sales helped fuel the decrease.
A separate report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday showed that the number of job openings in June decreased in 19 states, increased in two states and saw almost no change in the remaining states.
“The number of job openings decreased in 19 states and increased in 2 states in June,” BLS said. “The largest decreases in the job openings level occurred in California (-212,000), Pennsylvania (-89,000), and Massachusetts (-53,000). Increases in the job openings level occurred in Georgia (+51,000) and Ohio (+22,000). Nationally, the number of job openings decreased over the month (-605,000).”
The two economic indicators come after the economy saw inflation flatten in July but still come in at an 8.5% increase from the same time last year. At the same time, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has shrunk for the last two consecutive quarters.
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.