U.S. retail sales exceed expectations in June

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department reports that retail sales rose by a higher-than-expected 0.4% in June, as consumer spending eased the effect of weak investment levels. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of just 0.1%. Compared to a year ago, retail sales rose 3.4%. The 0.5% increase initially reported for May was revised down to a 0.4%.