Jun
14

U.S. Retail Sales Point to Strong Domestic Demand

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Businessman Holding Money BagU.S. retail sales rose strongly in May as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods, even as they paid more for gasoline, suggesting that economic growth was gaining steam despite a sharp slowdown in job creation.

Other data on Tuesday hinted at a steady build-up of inflation pressures, with import prices recording their largest increase in just over four years in May as the drag from a strong dollar and lower oil prices fades.

“As has been the case in the prior two years, the modest first-quarter disappointment in consumer spending now appears to be a short-lived soft patch,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “This number also lends credence to the idea that the big miss on May payrolls may have been sending an overly pessimistic signal on growth.”

The Commerce Department said retail sales increased 0.5 percent last month after surging by an unrevised 1.3 percent in April. The second straight month of gains boosted sales 2.5 percent from a year ago. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose a solid 0.4 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.0 percent increase in April.

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Categories : National News

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