U.S. Retail Sales Jump in a Sign of Freer-Spending Consumers
Americans stepped up their spending at retailers in May, especially for autos, clothes and building materials, in a sign that strong job growth has begun to boost store sales. Retail sales rose at a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent annual rate after a 0.2 percent gain in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Over the past 12 months, sales have risen a solid 2.7 percent. The upswing in shopping reflects greater confidence in an economy still shaking off the ravages of a recession that officially ended six years ago.