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U.S. retail sales were unexpectedly flat in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales, which had increased 0.2 percent in June, were held back by a second straight month of declines in receipts at auto dealers, as well as weak sales of furniture and electronics and appliances. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, increasing 0.2 percent last month. Core sales rose by a revised 0.5 percent in June.



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