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US sees surprise retail sales increase in June

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Washington (AFP) – Against expectations, US retail sales rose in June, the Commerce Department said Friday, with shoppers stepping up purchases at department stores and electronics outlets as pandemic business restrictions ease. Sales rose 0.6 percent last month to $621.3 billion, beating forecasts for a decline after they fell by a downwardly revised 1.7 percent in May, the data said. Sales jumped the most at department stores, electronics and appliance retails and clothing outlets, as well as at gas stations, likely a consequence of rising oil prices and an increase in domestic travel. Motor…

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