Recession fears are centerstage again with U.S. economy sending mixed messages

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Retail sales jumped 1 percent in June as consumers continue to absorb higher costs, according to federal data released Friday.

While the closely watched metric of the nation’s economic health shows that Americans are still spending, rising retail numbers also threaten to push inflation higher in a hot economy. That could prompt policymakers to take even more forceful action to combat 40-year high inflation.

The report is the first of two out Friday offering insights on Americans’ spending habits and their expectations for the economy.

Consumer sentiment data will be released by the University of Michigan at 10 a.m. will give economists an idea of how Americans are feeling about the economy. Consumer sentiment fell to an all-time low in June, with many Americans worried about long-term inflation.

“We’re at this weird moment where you sort of want the economy to slow. You just don’t want it to go into reverse,” said…

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