U.S. consumer spending is picking up, retail data show

08/14/2013 | Reuters

Overall retail sales rose 0.2% in July, less than analysts expected, but "core" retail sales, a figure that excludes building materials, cars and gasoline, gained 0.5%, its biggest increase in seven months, the Commerce Department said. The data suggest that the U.S. economy may be regaining momentum after tax increases and federal spending cuts slowed growth at the beginning of the year.

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