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Retail sales lower in June, show improvement across segments

Most retail categories, expect auto dealers and home improvement outlets, saw a boost in revenue for June.
By Ananth Baliga Follow @antbaliga Contact the Author   |   July 15, 2014 at 11:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- Retail sales across store in the U.S. reported the slowest growth since January, but still showed board-based gains across different categories.

Purchases increased 0.2 percent, with growth reported across segments except auto dealers and home-improvement outlets. Numbers for May were also revised to reflect a 0.5 percent increase in sales over April, according to the Commerce Department.

Tuesday's reading fell short of economists' expectations, with the 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting a 0.6 percent increase for the month of June. Demand climbed in nine of 13 major retail categories last month.

"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 in Columbus, Ohio. "The strong job numbers mean there's an increase in wages in the aggregate and a lot of it's going to get spent."

Americans have reported more confidence in making purchases on account of an improving labor market and higher wages.

Economists are expecting this increase in spending to help boost growth estimates that are expected later this month. The U.S. economy shrank 2.9 percent in the first quarter, on account of a harsh winter that restrained consumer spending.

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