Sales at U.S. retail stores rose 0.6% in July and were revised higher for June and May, suggesting the economy is on firm footing. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a seasonally adjusted 0.7% increase in retail sales last month. In July, sales minus autos rose 0.4%, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Sales minus gasoline were up 0.6%. In June, sales were revised up to unchanged from a decline of 0.3%. May sales were revised to show a gain of 1.9% instead of a 1.0% gain.
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