US retail sales rose more than expected last month, helped by a jump in car sales, government data has shown.
Retail sales increased by 0.6% in May from April, the Commerce Department said. Analysts had forecast a rise of about 0.4%.
Car sales rose by 1.8%, the biggest gain in six months.
The retail sales data is the government’s first look each month at consumer spending, which makes up 70% of economic activity in the US.
Retail sales account for about 30% of all consumer spending.
Sales at hardware stores increased 0.9% while sales at sporting goods and general merchandise stores also rose.
But sales fell 0.8% at furniture stores and 0.4% at electronics and appliance stores.
Core sales, which exclude vehicles, fuel and building supplies, rose by 0.3%.
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