More Cautious Consumers? Retail Sales Decline

By John S. McClenahen U.S. consumers spent an impressive-sounding $331.9 billion on autos and other retail goods and services last month. But that total, reported by the U.S. Commerce Department on July 14, was actually 1.1% below May's figure. "Sluggish June spending likely will hold [second-quarter] real consumption growth to no more than a 2% annual rate," figures UBS Investment Research, New York. "However, we believe spending this summer will rebound towards the first quarter's 3.8% clip."

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