WASHINGTON — Retail sales showed a broad-based gain in June, pointing to a gain in consumer spending that probably helped the U.S. economy rebound in the second quarter.
Purchases increased 0.2 percent after a 0.5 percent advance in May that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday in Washington. The reading fell short of the 0.6 percent increase projected by the median estimate of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, restrained by a drop among auto dealers. Demand climbed in nine of 13 major categories last month.
Consumers are more comfortable opening their wallets as a strengthening labor market lifts earnings. Higher wages give U.S. households the wherewithal to withstand recent increases in food and fuel costs that had chipped away at buying power.
The figures show “a strong consumer feeding into second-quarter GDP growth,” said Michael Hanson, U.S. senior economist for Bank of America in New York. “You are seeing some steady gains in employment, less so in wages but that does help.”
Other reports showed manufacturing in the New York region surged in July and the cost of goods bought overseas rose less than forecast in June.
Clothing stores, general merchandise merchants and non-store retailers, which include online vendors, were among the retail categories showing gains.