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Retail Sales Rise In July After Three Months Of Declines

Retail sales rose 0.8 % in July from June, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The gain followed three months of declines and was the largest since February.

Consumers lifted spending on furniture, electronics, building materials and sporting goods, according to the Commerce Department report. Auto purchases increased 0.8 percent.

Some 163,000 jobs were added in July, the strongest month-over-month job growth since February.

The July gain in consumer spending has been attributed in part to a rise in consumer confidence for the first time in five months and year-high stock indices.