U.S. Retail Sales Jump 1.0% In June, More Than Expected

Retail sales in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in the month of June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The Commerce Department said retail sales shot up by 1.0 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.8 percent compared to the 0.3 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

The stronger than expected retail sales growth was partly due to a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which climbed by 0.8 percent in June after plunging by 3.0 percent in May.

Excluding the rebound in auto sales, however, retail sales still jumped by 1.0 percent following a 0.6 percent increase in May. Ex-auto sales were expected to climb by 0.6 percent.

The jump in ex-auto sales partly reflected a continued surge in sales by gas stations, which spiked by 3.6 percent in June after soaring by 5.6 percent in May amid higher gas prices.

The report also showed notable growth in sales by non-store retailers, furniture and home furnishings stores, miscellaneous store retailers and food services and drink places.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, increased by 0.8 percent in June after falling by 0.3 percent in May.

“While consumer sentiment is very downbeat, it doesn’t mean they will stop spending,” said Kathy Bostjancic, Chief U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

She added, “With inflation reaching new heights and prices at the pump still up sharply, consumers will likely continue to redirect their spending priorities and allocate more of their budget toward services and pricier necessities such as gas, food and shelter.”

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