US retail growth raises stimulus fears

Suzie Neuwirth

US RETAIL sales rose more than expected last month, heating up the debate as to whether the Federal Reserve should reduce quantitative easing.

Retail sales increased 0.6 per cent in May, compared to 0.1 per cent in April. Analysts had expected sales to rise by 0.4 per cent.

Global markets have been dragged down by the US central bank’s indecision regarding monetary stimulus.

Earlier this month, disappointing US manufacturing data boosted the markets of the world’s largest economy, after investors thought monetary easing would be more likely to be maintained.