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Stretch Your Dollar: July hits all-time record for consumer spending during COVID-19 pandemic

Stretch Your Dollar

After suffering the biggest slump in seven years this April, retail sales are on the rebound. Consumer spending was up for the last three months, and in July it hit an all-time record.

It’s the biggest piece of U.S. economic growth, buoyed by retail sales. Big spending was seen on electronics, gas, clothing, and bars and restaurants. New auto sales and home sales have also been strong.

The report from the Commerce Department, however, does not calculate things like hair cuts, medical expenses, and financial services. But experts don’t think it’s time to celebrate just yet.

The additional $600 a week for unemployment benefits that were part of the federal stimulus package helped drive spending. But those benefits expired at the end of July and economists say that could stall the uptick in spending.

Congress has yet to pass a second stimulus bill, leaving millions in limbo without those additional unemployment benefits. Help could be on the way for anyone who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

FEMA has approved a grant allowing the state to put $300 extra dollars in your check each week. It’s apart of the lost wages assistance program created to help those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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