Shoppers in the U.S. cut back their purchases in July even more than expected as worries over the delta variant dampened activity and government stimulus dried up. According to the Commerce Department Retail sales for the month fell 1.1%, worse than the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.3% decline. Consumers make up nearly 70% of all activity in the U.S., so retail sales are watched closely as a gauge to overall economic health.
Data showed Chinese economic growth slowing more than expected. China’s retail sales increased by 8.5% in July year-over-year, below the 11.5% forecast from economists. Online sales gained just 4.4% for the month. On the manufacturing sector in the country, industrial production increased by 6.4%, below the 7.8% consensus estimate. China’s National Bureau of Statistics noted an impact from Covid and domestic flooding, saying the country’s “economic recovery is still unstable and uneven.”
Tesla’s stock sold off after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a formal probe into the electric vehicle maker’s Autopilot partially automated driving system. Federal safety regulators are investigating at least 11 accidents involving Tesla cars using Autopilot or other self-driving features that crashed into emergency vehicles when coming upon the scene of an earlier crash