Retail sales rose less than expected in June, the latest sign of a slowdown in economic growth that could argue against the Federal Reserve’s plan to start trimming its monetary stimulus later this year.
But growth is not slowing abruptly, with other data on Monday showing factory activity in New York state accelerating in July as new orders and employment improved.
Retail sales increased 0.4 percent last month, lifted by demand for automobiles and higher gasoline prices. However, sales of building materials fell by the most in a year, a potentially worrying sign for the housing market.
Sales had increased 0.5 percent in May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales, which account for about 30 percent of consumer spending, rising 0.8 percent in June.
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