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American consumer is ‘strong’ and spending more, former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO says

Henry Fernandez

Consumer spending rose more than 100 percent above consensus estimates last month, signally shoppers continue to be fairly optimistic about the U.S. economy.

Retail sales climbed 0.7 percent in July, beating the Wall Street estimate of 0.3 percent, according to data released by the Commerce Department.

Former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Gerald Storch told FOX Business the latest retail-sales data highlights the strength of the American consumer.

“Month after month, we see the same thing. People are employed. They have money in their pocket. They are going to spend it,” he said on “Making Money” Thursday.

Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity. July's figures mark the fifth-straight increase in retail sales, which has eased some of the recession fears attributed to the yield curve inversion.

“People have a lot of money. They are spending it, but they are spending it on experiences like eating out,” Storch said.

President Trump touted the retail sales number as the latest sign of economic strength.

“We're doing very well. The economy is incredible. The consumer, probably above all else, the consumer is doing incredibly,” Trump told reporters boarding Air Force One on Thursday.

Storch said the economy continues to grow rapidly and consumer demand will drive manufacturing growth in the future. As a result, those goods have to be manufactured and produced, leading to a virtuous circle of growth in the economy, he said.

“Year-over-year, those retail sales are up to 3.4 percent. That’s one of the best numbers we’ve seen in months,” Storch added. “It’s not slowing down, it’s getting stronger.”

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