US retail sales beat expectations, driven by autos, building materials and groceries

US retail sales rose at the fastest rate in three months in May, led by demand for autos, building materials and groceries.

Sales rose by 0.6 per cent, or by 0.3 per cent excluding the retail sector. Overall sales performed better than expected, with MarketWatch having forecast a 0.5 per cent rise overall and no change excluding autos. Bloomberg economists had made predictions ranging from minus 0.1 per cent to plus 0.8 per cent.

Sales fell for electronics, appliances, clothes, home furnishings and bars and restaurants. Retail sales account for about one-third of consumer spending in the US, and is the main driver of economic growth. Year-on-year, retail sales were up 4.3 per cent.

On the news, the dollar jumped up against the yen and the euro.