If you’re like other American consumers, you haven’t yet let inflation and recession worries slow down your spending.
Retail sales jumped 1.0% in June from May, according to Friday’s report from the Commerce Department. The number was higher than expected, as analysts had forecasted an increase of 0.9%. It was also a big improvement over May’s figures, when retail sales dropped by 0.1%.
The 9.1% inflation jump in June and fear of a potential recession didn’t stop Americans from opening their wallets last month. They spent more at furniture and home stores, as well as on catalog sales and online shopping. In a sign that inflation may be changing some spending habits, Americans shopped less at department and clothing stores.
Retail sales are an important figure to watch, as consumer spending makes up nearly 70% of the gross domestic product. If consumers keep spending money, the U.S. economy can continue to grow, which typically means that businesses will continue to hire and employ workers. Consumer spending is one of the economic factors that economists monitor when determining whether or not the economy has fallen into a recession.
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