In the past year, retail sales are up 2.5%, while sales excluding autos are up 4.9%. The figures are not adjusted for price changes.
Motor vehicle sales rose 0.3% in May and were down 7% in the past year.
Sales at furniture stores rose 0.4%, the biggest increase in 10 months.
Sales at electronics and appliance stores rose 0.7%.
Sales at building supply and garden stores rose 2.4%, the second straight increase over 2%.
Sales at general merchandise stores rose 1.2%, including a 0.8% increase at department stores. It was the largest increase at general merchandise stores in 14 months.
Sales at nonstore retailers rose 1.6%, as high gas costs encouraged more consumers to shop online or through catalogs.
Excluding the 2.6% rise in gas station sales, sales still increased 0.8%, the biggest gain in a year.
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