Today’s news update covers the economy, world events and childhood obesity.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% to $366.4 billion in April, the seventh straight increase and the 12th gain in the past 13 months, led by strong sales at hardware stores and garden centers, the Commerce Department estimated Friday.
Excluding a 0.5% increase in auto sales, sales rose 0.4% to $303.5 billion.
April’s figures came in stronger than expected, as economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been looking for a 0.2% decline in overall sales and a 0.2% gain excluding autos. See our complete economic calendar and consensus forecast.
BUFFALO — President Obama delivered an upbeat economic forecast and a defense of his economic policies on Thursday, telling a crowd at a manufacturing plant here that job growth would continue and that “next year is going to be better than this year.”
BANGKOK — Thai troops fired bullets at anti-government protesters and explosions thundered in the heart of Bangkok on Friday as an army push to clear the streets and end a two-month political standoff sparked clashes that have killed two and wounded 45.
As night fell, booming explosions and the sound of gunfire rattled around major intersection in the central business district. Local TV reported that several grenades hit a nearby shopping center and elevated-rail station. Plumes of black smoke hung over the neighborhood as tires burned in eerily empty streets while onlookers ducked for cover.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Women could help reduce childhood obesity by maintaining a healthy weight when they become pregnant and by breast-feeding their babies, a U.S. government panel has found.
The suggestions were among 70 recommendations in the panel’s report. First Lady Michelle Obama released the findings Tuesday as part of her campaign against childhood obesity.
One in 3 American children is overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other illnesses. Obesity is even more prevalent among black and Hispanic children. Some public health experts say today’s children are on track to live shorter lives than their parents.