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Retail Sales Clock 12th Consecutive Gain in June

WASHINGTON - June marked the 12th month in a row of year-over- year sales gains for the retail industry in a performance the National Retail Federation said surpassed many analysts' expectations.
     Retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 0.3% in June seasonally adjusted from May and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
     Sales at home furnishings stores are climbing back slowly - up 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year but slipping 0.8% seasonally adjusted over May.
     "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."
     NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz noted retailers are offering aggressive promotions in response to consumer con-erns bout the economy.
      The U.S. Commerce Department's estimate of June retail sales (which includes non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 8.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

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