U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in six months

U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in May as consumers bought motor vehicle and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline. The latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday sales jumped 0.8 percent last month, the biggest advance since November 2017. 

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales rising 0.4 percent in May. Sales in May increased 5.9 percent from a year ago.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales increased 0.5 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in April. These so-called core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. 

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