In this July 10, 2019, photo, mountain bikes are displayed at Cycles Etc bicycle shop in Salem, N.H. On Tuesday, July 16, the Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for June. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

US retail sales rise 0.4% in June in sign of consumer health

July 16, 2019 - 7:37 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, providing crucial support to the economy at a time when other drivers of growth have faded.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.4% last month, the fourth straight increase. Sales at online retailers, grocery stores, home and garden stores, and at restaurants and bars all increased at a healthy pace.

June's figures underscore the importance of consumer spending to the U.S. economy. Business investment has weakened, factory output has faltered, and slower global growth is weighing on exports. But measures of consumer confidence remain historically high and June's retail sales figures suggest that consumer spending, which drives two-thirds of the economy, remains strong.

Retail sales account for about one-third of Americans' spending, while the other two-thirds are in services.

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