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US Retail Sales Grow in June

US retail sales rose in June, amid improved consumer sentiment and a healthier economic outlook, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Total purchase value grew 2.3% year on year in June, with the three-month moving average, which includes April, May and June sales, up 3.7% over the same period a year ago. The moving average for the three months to May rose 3.3% over the year before, the trade organization reported.

“[The] results show the consumer remains engaged,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The numbers are consistent with elevated consumer sentiment, healthy household balance sheets, low inflation, and wage and job gains.”

The growth is even more significant because it comes on top of strong gains at the same time last year, Kleinhenz added.

However, consumer-sentiment data was less positive for the month. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 121.5 in June from 131.3 in May, the Conference Board reported.

“After two consecutive months of improvement, consumer confidence declined in June to its lowest level since September 2017,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers’ confidence.”

While the NRF’s outlook is positive, it does note the potential for the US-China trade war to affect US retail sales. “Trade uncertainties continue to weigh on the long-term outlook,” it observed.

Source – www.diamonds.net Rapaport

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