August 13, 2010, 2:56 PM

Total retail spending up 6.3% in first half of the year

U.S. consumers have spent $1.5 trillion through June.

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Total U.S. retail spending from January through June was up 6.3% from the same six months a year ago, according to U.S. Census Bureau monthly retail trade report data released today. Consumers spent $1.51 trillion in the first six months of 2010, excluding automobile sales. U.S. consumers spent $1.42 trillion in the first half of 2009.

Total spending in June was $262.1 billion, down 1.9% from $267.1 billion in May, and up 5.1% from $249.4 billion in June 2009. May was the strongest retail spending month in the first half of 2010.

Advance estimates indicate spending continued to slide in July, with a 0.2% decrease from June spending, according to the Census Bureau report. Retail spending in July reached $261.6 billion, a 4.9% improvement over $249.5 billion in July 2009.

The Census Bureau releases second quarter and first half e-commerce retail figures Tuesday.

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