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Special Report

Retail Sales Research Brief

July 2021

Rising Prices Fuel Increase in Retail Sales in June

Consumer spending continues to grow. In June, core retail sales increased 1.1 percent as Americans continued to use money accumulated from stimulus and savings. Although more spending is aimed at services due to the broad reopening, plenty of new cash in the system supported growth for traditional retailers. Nonetheless, rapidly rising inflation, which measured 0.9 percent last month, dampens the better-than-anticipated retail sales figure. A portion of the increase comes from higher prices rather than a jump in real spending. Still, since February 2020, retail sales have grown 16.8 percent and gains are likely to persist in the second half of this year as several catalysts drive shoppers to retailers.

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