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Retail Sales Bode Well For Second Quarter Growth

ShoppingIt’s been a good week for good signs about the economy, and this morning offered more encouragement, as consumers showed resurgent buying activity. The Commerce Department reported a 1.2 percent increase in retail sales in May, along with upward revisions for the two prior months.

AIER’s calculation showed discretionary purchases were up 1.3 percent for May over April, and that number was even up 0.8 percent when subtracting out the strong automobile market, said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow.

“Overall, it’s a strong report. It suggests the second quarter is recovering from the weak first quarter and will post solid gains,” Hughes said.

One other encouraging sign: Initial claims for unemployment benefits were 279,000 for the week. While that’s up 2,000 from the previous week, it’s the 14th consecutive week below 300,000. “That’s a good run,” Hughes said. “That’s a positive sign for the labor market.”

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