Jul 16, 2020 - Economy

Retail sales jumped 7.5% in June

Shoppers wearing facemasks walk near a sign informing customers that face coverings are required in front of a Walmart store in Washington, DC

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. retail sales rose 7.5% in June, after a revised record 18.2% jump in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Why it matters: Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70% of U.S. economic activity, and June's retail sales nearly reached February's pre-pandemic levels, driven by spending at car dealerships, clothing and furniture stores. But economists warn it may have since slowed as states began to reimpose lockdowns amid surging coronavirus caseloads.

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