June 14 (UPI) -- U.S. retail sales rose 0.5 percent in May, led by a sharp increase in auto sales -- but nearly all sectors showed growth, government figures showed Friday.
In its monthly report, the Commerce Department showed auto sales increased 0.7 percent and accounted for one-fifth of all retail sales in May. Electronic store sales jumped 1.1 percent while health and personal care sales also increased.
The May increase was roughly in-line with analysts' expectations.
"The consumer is firmly back on track: the first quarter's softness was misleading," Ian Sheperdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told MarketWatch.
The report showed sales declines only in beverage, department, clothing and miscellaneous stores.
The Commerce Department also revised April sales Friday -- up 0.3 percent -- after initially reporting a 0.2 percent decline.
Experts say the positive retail performance could prompt the Federal Reserve to wait before lowering interest rates. Many analysts expect the Fed to cut rates at its policy meeting at the end of July, primarily due to a weaker-than-expected jobs report for May.