- Associated Press - Friday, August 1, 2014

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US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

WASHINGTON (AP) - A sixth straight month of solid 200,000-plus job growth in July reinforced growing evidence that the U.S. economy is accelerating after five years of sluggish expansion.

Employers added 209,000 jobs last month. Though that was fewer than in the previous three months, the economy has now produced an average 244,000 jobs a month since February - the best six-month string in eight years.

At the same time, most economists think the pace of job growth isn’t enough to cause the Federal Reserve to speed up its timetable for raising interest rates. Most still think the Fed will start raising rates to ward off inflation around mid-2015.

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US consumer spending up 0.4 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in three months in June, providing momentum for the economy going into the second half of the year.

Consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Commerce Department said Friday. Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for two-thirds of economic activity.

Meanwhile, Americans saw earnings rise 0.4 percent in June, matching the May increase. Income growth has lagged in this recovery but has shown recent signs of some acceleration.

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US auto sales rise in July, helped by discounts

DETROIT (AP) - Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Chrysler all saw double-digit sales gains. General Motors’ sales were up 9 percent compared with last July, while Hyundai’s rose 1.5 percent. Of major automakers, only Honda and Volkswagen saw declines.

It was the best July for the industry since 2006. New vehicle sales rose 9 percent to 1.4 million, according to Autodata Corp.

Automakers typically offer deals in the summer to clear out inventory before cars from the new model year arrive in the fall. But July’s discounts were unusually high.

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