WASHINGTON (UPI) — Retail and food-service sales rose 0.4 percent in June to $422.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said Monday.
The climb fell short of the 0.5 percent gain in May and was half what economists had predicted.
Sales adjusted for seasonal variations, but not for price changes, were 5.7 percent higher than June 2012 the bureau said.
Sales in the second quarter — April through June — rose 4.6 percent from the same quarter of 2012.
The bureau said vehicle sales climbed 1.8 percent from May and 11.4 percent from June 2012. Furniture sales rose 2.4 percent from May and 4.6 percent from 12 months prior.
Sales were down from the previous month in electronic and appliance stores.
Building materials and garden supplies were down 0.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
From a year earlier, sales were up 9.4 percent in the building supplies and gardening segment, but down 0.3 percent for electronics and appliances.
Internet and catalog sales rose 2.1 percent month-to-month and 13.8 percent from June 2012. The category does not necessarily mean more merchandise is selling, because gains in online sales can be offset by declining sales at brick-and-mortar outlets.