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U.S. retail sales in July posted their biggest gain since March, tempering fears that the world's largest economy might be slipping back into recession.
Sales climbed 0.5 percent, in line with analyst forecasts and following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in June.
Consumer spending accounts for two thirds of U.S. economic activity, and the Commerce Department data released on Friday indicates the third quarter was off to a decent start.