US retail sales up 0.2% in July despite drop in auto sales
WASHINGTON (AP) - US retail sales edged up in July despite a drop in auto sales. A category of purchases that excludes the most volatile sectors rose by the most in seven months, a sign that stronger consumer spending could boost economic growth.
The Commerce Department says retail sales increased 0.2 per cent in July from June. Sales had risen 0.6 per cent in June from May. The change in both months was driven by autos, which surged 2.9 per cent in June but fell 1 per cent in July.
"Core" retail sales, which exclude the volatile auto, gas and building supply categories, rose 0.5 per cent in July. These sales had risen 0.1 per cent in May and 0.2 per cent in June.
July's gain was the biggest such advance since a 0.5 per cent rise in December.