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U.S. Retail Sales Unchanged In July

With pullbacks in gasoline and auto sales offsetting strength in other areas, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing U.S. retail sales came in flat in the month of July.

The report showed retail sales were virtually unchanged in July after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.8 percent in June.

Economists had expected retail sales to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 1.0 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding the decrease in auto sales, retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in July following a downwardly revised 0.9 percent advance in June.

The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected ex-auto sales to edge down by 0.1 percent compared to the 1.0 percent surge originally reported for the previous month.

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