Consumer Spending Stays Steady Despite Inflation

Consumer spending held up during June’s inflation surge, with retail sales rising slightly more than expected for the month amid rising prices, according to the Commerce Department.

Advance retail sales increased 1 percent for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.9 percent rise. This is a big jump from May, when there was a 0.1 percent decline. These retail figures are not adjusted for inflation, which rose 1.3 percent during the month.

Rising costs for food and gasoline in particular helped propel the increase. Excluding automobiles, the monthly rise was also 1 percent, topping the 0.7 percent estimate.

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Still, markets rallied following Friday morning’s news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 470 points in the first half-hour of trading.

Sales at bars and restaurants increased 1 percent, while online sales rose 2.2 percent, and furniture and home store sales were up 1.4 percent. However, some brick-and-mortar sales fell, with general merchandise off 0.2 percent due to a 2.6 percent decline in department stores.

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