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Retail sales clock 12th consecutive gain in June

June marked the 12th consecutive month 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 concerns 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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