U.S. retail sales went up 0.2% in June to a total of $439.9 billion for the month, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Though the growth fell below many economists' expectations, June's activity still pointed to a strengthening economy, with sales that were up 4.3% year-over-year.
Retail trade sales (not counting food service) fared slightly better -- up 0.3% since May. Nonstore retailers were up 8.1% year-over-year, and health and personal care stores were up 7.9% since 2013.
In a surprising reversal from their status as the driving forces of retail growth over the past few months, both motor vehicles & parts dealers and food services & drinking places fell 0.3% in June.
Building material & garden equipment and supplies dealers also fell 0.1%, though the category was up 3.7% year-over-year.