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Retail sales to take center stage on Wall Street



The U.S. economic landscape quiets down this week with much of the important May data, including jobs numbers, having been released already.

The most closely watched data point of the week is the May retail sales report, which the Commerce Department publishes on Thursday.

Retail sales inched up a mere 0.1% in April, thanks to a payroll tax hike that curbed consumer spending. However, economists expect the sales pace to have picked up in May, with consumers more inclined to spend as the economy slowly but surely improves.

Retails sales are projected to improve 0.4%.

Closely tied to the retail sales report is the release of the June consumer sentiment index from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. Given that consumer spending makes up some 70% of the U.S. economy, it is paramount for the continued economic recovery that consumers feel optimistic enough about their futures to be willing to spend money.

“Confidence measures show consumer sentiment is nearing pre-recession levels, likely helped by continued improvement in the labor market and rising equity markets and home prices,” wrote Wells Fargo in an economic report.


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