U.S. retail growth hits 7-month high

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales logged their biggest increase in seven months in July, rising 0.6% percent against an expected 0.4%. The U.S. Commerce Department reported the growth, which was driven in part by a rise in auto purchases. At the same time, the department revised the tally of May sales up to no change, from a preliminary report of a 0.1% decrease. Year over year, retail sales rose 4.2%.