U.S. Economy

     (CN) – Consumer prices rose modestly in June as the costs of gasoline and rent climbed; meanwhile retail sales registered a healthy gain across the nation. the government announced Friday.
     The Labor Department said Friday that consumer prices increased 0.2 percent in June, matching the gain in May.
     Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, prices were up 0.2 from May and 2.3 percent from June 2015.
     Food prices fell for a second straight month in June. Energy prices rose 1.3 percent, including a 3.3 percent increase in gasoline prices. Rents rose 0.4 percent.
     New car and truck prices fell for the third straight month and are down 3.1 percent over the past year. Clothing prices fell 0.4 percent in June.
     Overall, prices are up 1 percent from a year ago.
     In other economic news Friday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales posted a big increase in June.
     Sales at retailers and restaurants rose 0.6 percent, after a 0.2 percent climb in May. Sales were up 2.7 percent from a year earlier. Excluding volatile spending on cars and auto parts, sales were up 0.7 percent.
     Spending on building materials and gardening supplies surged 3.9 percent, the most since April 2010.

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