US retail sales below estimates in June

<p>Retail sales in the US did not meet expectations.</p>

US retail sales for June failed to meet the expectations of analysts, it has been revealed.

Data released by the Commerce Department showed sales expanded by 0.4 per cent during the course of the month, down from the 0.8 per cent figures that had been predicted.

Car sales rose by 2.1 per cent and there was a 2.4 per cent increase for furniture and household goods, but sales of building materials were down by 2.2 per cent in June.

Paul Dales, US economist at research firm Capital Economics, stated that the release of the latest sales data adds more weight to the argument GDP will be shown to have grown at an annualised rate of less than one per cent in the second quarter of the year.

"Even more worrying is that sales growth appears to be losing momentum heading for the third quarter," he said.

Fears have been increasing over the state of the US economy after the expected expansion in the speed of growth failed to materialise in recent months.

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