Washington- US retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles and raised discretionary spending, suggesting the economy continued to gain momentum early in the third quarter.
Tuesday’s upbeat report from the Commerce Department stated that retail sales jumped 0.6 percent last month, the largest gain since December 2016, as June’s retail sales were revised to show a 0.3 percent gain.
Economists had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4 percent in July, while before, they expected a 0.2 percent drop, according to Reuters.
May’s retail sales were revised to show no change rather than the previously reported 0.1 percent dip.
Retail sales increased 4.2 percent in July on a year-on-year basis.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales surged 0.6 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in June.
These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.