Weekly Economic Update 7/23/2018 Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Email ANOTHER GOOD MONTH FOR RETAIL SALES Americans are spending freely, as new Census Bureau data confirms. Retail sales advanced 0.5% last month, matching the consensus forecast of economists surveyed by Reuters, in the wake of a revised 1.3% May gain. (May was the best month for buying since last September.) The only negative note: core retail sales were flat in June. (Core sales exclude food, fuel, auto, and home improvement purchases.)1 HOUSING STARTS SINK TO A 9-MONTH LOW Taking their biggest monthly fall since November 2016, starts unexpectedly dropped 12.3% in