WASHINGTON — Heavy discounting and falling gas prices gave consumers a reason to buy clothing in June, boosting retail sales across the board in the apparel specialty store, department store and general merchandise store categories, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report Thursday.
June apparel and accessories store sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent to $18.8 billion compared with May, while sales at department stores were up 1.4 percent to $15.6 billion. Sales at general merchandise stores, which include discounters and department stores, increased 0.4 percent to $52.4 billion last month. The government report followed better-than-expected comparable-store sales reports from retailers last week.
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