The economy is showing strength as summer nears a close — a trend that’s raising the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will slow its bond buying later this month.
The steady improvement is also lifting hopes for Friday’s report on job growth last month. The August gain is expected to nearly match the year’s monthly average of 192,000 jobs.
On Thursday, reports showed that services companies are stepping up hiring and that a dwindling number of people are losing jobs. Those figures follow reports of stronger auto sales and faster expansion by US factories.
‘‘People are finding work, and they have more money to spend,’’ said Drew Matus, an economist at UBS. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.