Business

US retail sales growth slows unexpectedly in June

  • 15 July 2013
  • From the section Business
Shopper with trolley
Retail sales have steadily recovered since 2009, but more slowly than after previous recessions

US retail sales grew in June, but at a slower rate than was expected by many analysts.

Sales were up by a seasonally-adjusted 0.4%, half the 0.8% rate expected by the markets.

Sales of building materials - often a volatile item - fell 2.2% in the month, according to the Commerce Department.

The sub-par performance added to expectations that the Federal Reserve will wean the US off economic stimulus more slowly than previously indicated.

Car sales - which can also vary greatly from month to month - jumped 2.1%, while furniture and household goods rose 2.4%.

Total retail sales in June were 27.5% up from their level at the bottom of the recession in mid-2009.

The figures come on top of weaker trade and manufacturing data, pointing to a softening in the US recovery.

"The disappointing rise in retail sales values in June increases the chances that GDP grew at an annualised rate of less than 1% in the second quarter," said Paul Dales, US economist at research firm Capital Economics.

"Even more worrying is that sales growth appears to be losing momentum heading for the third quarter."

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