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U.S. Retail Sales: Back-To-Back Declines For First Time In 2 Years

WASHINGTON — Americans barely increased their spending at retail businesses in April and May, constrained by weak job creation and paltry wage increases.

A sharp drop in gas prices pulled down overall sales in both months by 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

But excluding volatile gas station sales, retail sales increased only modestly in May and dipped in April. The report could lead economists to lower their outlooks for April-June economic growth.”

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