Free-spending consumers lift company profits, but Trump tariffs now loom

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Free-spending consumers lift company profits, but Trump tariffs now loomSeveral major U.S. companies, from General Motors to KFC-owner Yum! Brands, defied analysts' sluggish earnings forecasts. After Trump said on Thursday he would impose an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, four large retail trade groups warned that the action would hurt consumer purchases, raise prices further and limit hiring. Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, surged at a 4.3% rate in the second quarter, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2017.


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