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--5 Things We Learned From The June Retail Sales Data
By Kevin Kastner, Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the 
June retail sales report from the Commerce Department released 
     - June retail sales rose 0.5% in the month, below analysts 
projections for a 0.6% gain and the market whisper projections for a 
0.8% rise, both of which had been based on the correct assumption of 
strong auto sales. Other sales categories were mixed in June, but the 
already-strong May sales month was revised higher, so the market 
reaction is likely to be mixed. 
     - Excluding a 0.9% gain in motor vehicle sales, retail sales were 
still up 0.4%, compared with the 0.3% gain expected. Overall sales and 
sales excluding motor vehicles were revised up solidly in May and down 
slightly in April. Analysts have recently tended to overestimate both 
overall and ex-motor vehicle sales in June, so today's data keep the 
trend for the overall figure. 
     - June sales rose 0.3% ex. motor vehicle and gas, and were flat for 
the "control" group (ex auto, building materials, gas and food 
services), but following on the very strong May readings, softer June 
gains were not a surprise. 
     - Gas station sales rose further, registering a 1.0% gain in the 
month (retail sales ex. gas +0.4%), while building materials rose by 
0.8% and food services were up 1.5%. The other categories were mixed, 
with sales at health care stores up sharply, but offset by sharp 
declines at clothing stores after a strong May increase. 
     - At an annualized rate, second quarter total sales were up 7.9% 
from the first quarter average, based on an MNI calculation. Sales were 
up 7.7% ex motor vehicles, and up 6.5% ex autos, building materials, 
gas, and food services, suggesting second quarter PCE will be strong. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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