Consumers broke out of a three-month lull in June, but analysts said the modest 0.5 percent increase in retail sales was not so robust as to lead to higher interest rates to control inflation.
“Even though consumers are coming out of the spring and early summer doldrums, I don’t expect them to go on a spending spree,” contended economist Sung Won Sohn of the Norwest Corp. in Minneapolis.
“That’s in part because their pent-up demand has been satisfied,” he said. “We are looking forward to a more sensible rate of economic growth.”
Revised Commerce Department figures Tuesday showed the slump was steeper than previously estimated. Sales fell 1.1 percent in April, rather than 0.9 percent, and 0.3 percent in May, rather than 0.1 percent. They also had slipped 0.3 percent in March.
The three-month sales decline had been the first since September-November 1981, at the end of the 1980-1981 recession.
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