business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The US Department of Commerce said on Friday that retail sales in June were up 0.6 percent, which followed a small drop in May, which the New York Times writes "highlighted the unevenness of the economic recovery. Even as overall sales rose, sales of cars and car parts and spending at building materials, furniture and sporting goods stores declined … June’s sales were better than economists had forecast, but sales in coming months could be hampered by reactions to the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus, rising prices and the end of some government benefits."

•  The US Department of Labor said last week that jobless claims fell by 26,000 last week to 360,000, putting them at the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic.