Jul 15, 2022 - Economy

Retail sales rebounded in June as inflation soared

Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

Retail sales — a barometer for consumer spending — bounced back last month, rising 1% as inflation soared to a new four-decade high, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: Economists are watching these figures closely to see how the consumer — a consistent bright spot in an economy that's feared to be slowing — is faring. The numbers, which aren't adjusted for inflation, are a sign consumer demand is holding up.

Details: Retail sales in May were slightly better than first thought, too: the revision shows sales fell 0.1%, rather than the 0.3% decline initially estimated.

  • Stripping out spending on autos and gasoline — where costs are soaring — retail sales rose 0.7% in June.

The bottom line: Fed officials are looking at economic data between now and their next policy meeting later this month for signs that demand is slowing as it takes aggressive steps to bring inflation down.

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