U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in May as motor vehicle purchases declined amid rampant shortages, and record-high gasoline prices pulled spending away from other goods. The first drop in sales in five months reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday also suggested that high inflation was starting to hurt demand. It followed in the wake of major retailers like Walmart (WMT.N) and Target (TGT.N) cutting their profit forecasts because of cost pressures. The weak retail sales did not divert the Federal Reserve from its aggressive monetary policy tightening path to bring inflation back to its 2% target. The U.S. central bank raised its policy interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the biggest hike since 1994. [nL1N2Y12O3] “While high personal […]

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