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Retail sales rise 0.3 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shoppers pushed retail sales up for a seventh straight month although the increase was the weakest showing since June.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month, with demand rising at department stores, electronic stores and auto dealerships.

The increase was just half of what economists had expected. Still, it came in a month with severe winter weather in much of the country.

Economists were expecting a bigger gain because January was the first month that Americans had more money in their paychecks because of a Social Security tax cut.

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