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US retail sales surge 17.7% in May
Retail sales in the US increased by 17.7 percent in May to shatter the lofty 8 percent estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones as consumers freed from lockdowns began shopping again.
Clothing and accessories stores posted the biggest gain at 188 percent while hobbies, sporting goods, books, and musical instruments surged 88.2 percent.
Motor vehicles and parts climbed by 44.1 percent as food services and drinking places rebounded by 29.1 percent.
Many states started allowing outdoor dining in May after the food establishments were limited to pickups and delivery.
While the monthly gains set records, total sales were down 6.1 percent from last year ago.
The robust numbers revealed an hour before stock trading provided an upbeat Wall Street mood with Dow going up by more than 500 points by late morning.