Retail sales in June higher than expected | Business

Americans spent more last month on clothing, electronics and dining out as the economy opened up and pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.

Retail sales rose a seasonal adjusted 0.6% in June from the month before, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday. The increase was a surprise to Wall Street analysts, who had expected sales to fall slightly last month.

Results were much better than expected. According to Zacks Equity Research, consensus expectations were for a 0.4% decline in retail sales, following a downwardly revised 1.7% drop in May.

Spending has slowed since March, when stimulus checks sent to most Americans caused a surge in shopping. And as Americans get vaccinated, they are spending less on goods and more on hotels, haircuts and other services, which are not included in Friday’s report.

Last month’s increase could be due to higher prices, said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for consulting firm…

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