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Retail Sales Rise in June


Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

Retail sales showed a broad-based gain in June, which probably helped the U.S. economy rebound in the second quarter.

Purchases increased 0.2% after a 0.5% advance in May that was larger than previously reported, the Commerce Department reported.

The reading fell short of the 0.6% increase projected by the median estimate of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, restrained by a drop among auto dealers. Demand climbed in nine of 13 major categories last month.

Consumers are more comfortable opening their wallets as a strengthening labor market lifts earnings. Higher wages give American households the wherewithal to withstand recent increases in food and gasoline costs that had chipped away at buying power.

“We’re quite likely to see a pickup in consumer spending in the second half of the year from the stronger jobs numbers,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance. “The strong job numbers mean there’s an increase in wages in the aggregate and a lot of it’s going to get spent.”

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains to 0.2 %to 1.1 percent. May’s reading was revised from an initially reported 0.3 %increase.

Clothing stores, general merchandise merchants and non-store retailers, which include online vendors, were among the major retail categories showing gains last month, today’s report showed.

By Bloomberg News

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