U.S. Retail Sales Beat in June

A sure sign of the healthy of the stateside economy. Figures released Tuesday showed U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in June.

The numbers point to strong consumer spending, which could help negate some of the hit on the economy from weak business investment.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales rose 0.4% last month as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles and a variety of other goods. Data for May was revised slightly down to show retail sales increasing 0.4%, instead of increasing 0.5% as previously reported.

Economists had forecast retail sales edging up 0.1% in June. Compared to June last year, retail sales advanced 3.4%.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, U.S. retail sales jumped 0.7% last month after an upwardly revised 0.6% increase in May. So-called core retail sales, which correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, were previously reported to have increased 0.4% in May.

June’s strong gain in core retail sales, coming on the heels of solid increases in April and May, suggested a sharp acceleration in consumer spending in the second quarter.