Warm weather, lower gas costs and strong Father's Day promotions put consumers in a spending mood in June, boosting retail sales for the 12th consecutive month and surpassing many analysts' expectations. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) in June increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from May and 5.5 percent unadjusted year over year.
"A solid year of growth in sales provides further evidence that retailers continue to lead the charge in the economic recovery," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
"While spending continues to surpass expectations, sustained growth in the retail sector depends on a strong labor market."
"With the summer season well under way, retailers are hoping this momentum continues through the back to school season," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. "Knowing that shoppers remain concerned about the economy, companies have already begun offering aggressive promotions to entice shoppers."
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