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August 13, 2010    

US retail sales and consumer prices up in July

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by Kay Murchie

The Commerce Department has today said US retail sales grew by 0.4% in July - boosted by an increase in car sales.

The figures were much needed after two months of declines. However, the figures were less than the 0.5% rise analysts had expected.

US retail sales are closely-watched as consumer spending makes up for almost two-thirds of economic activity.

Commenting, Julia Coronado, a senior US economist at BNP Paribas in New York, said: “The recovery just isn’t looking that great. The job market has lost some positive momentum. This suggests another weak reading on consumer spending in the third quarter.”

In other news in the world’s largest economy today, the Labor Department said US consumer prices rose slightly in July due to higher energy costs.

There was a 0.3% gain in prices - the most in a year, according to the Labor Department.

A statement said: “The energy index posted its first increase since January and accounted for over two thirds of the seasonally adjusted all-items increase.

“Both the gasoline and household energy indexes turned up in July after a series of declines,” it added.

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