Strong retail sales suggests stronger Q2 economic growth

It was a solid gain for U.S. retail sales in June, helped enormously by increases in purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, and boosting expectations for robust economic growth in the second quarter.

Figures released by the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. on Monday retail sales increased 0.5% last month. Data for May was revised higher to show sales rising 1.3% instead of the previously reported 0.8% gain. May's rise in retail sales was the largest since September 2017.

Economists had forecast retail sales rising 0.5% in June. Retail sales in June increased 6.6% from a year ago.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales were unchanged last month after an upwardly revised 0.8% increase in May. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

Core retail sales were previously reported to have risen 0.5% in May.