NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Retail sales rose for the second straight month in June, the government reported Tuesday, but the gains came mostly from auto purchases, higher gas prices and a modest pick up in electronics sales.
The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.6% last month, compared with May’s gain of 0.5%.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had been expecting June sales to increase 0.4%.
Sales excluding autos and auto parts also rose 0.3%, softer than expected, compared to a 0.5% increase in the measure in May.
Economists had forecast a gain of 0.5% in June sales, excluding auto purchases.
The report showed auto sales rose 2.3% in June while gasoline station sales jumped 5% in the month. Electronics sales rose 0.9%, while sales at sporting and music stores also increased 0.9%.
But June was a disappointment in most other retail categories. Sales at clothing sellers were flat in June versus the prior month, department store sales slumped 1.3% and sales at general merchandise stores slipped 0.4%.