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US Retail Sales Rise 0.4 Percent in June on Auto Sales

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Americans spent more at retail businesses in June, although the gain was heavily driven by auto sales and higher gas prices.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.4 percent in June from May, after a 0.5 percent increase the previous month. The June gain was mostly because of a 1.8 percent increase in auto sales, the biggest one-month gain since November. Higher gas prices pushed service station sales up 0.7 percent.

Excluding the volatile categories of autos, gas and building supplies, so-called core retail sales rose just 0.15 percent, the weakest since January.

The retail sales report is the government’s first look at consumer spending. Spending at retailers has helped drive job growth this year and has shown that consumers remain resilient despite higher taxes.

[Associated Press]

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