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Shoppers walk past the Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Walk on, buy.

The American consumer is roaring back to life

The preliminary US retail sales numbers for May (pdf) are fresh from the US Census Bureau, and they’re looking pretty good, up 1.2% from April. Year-over-year growth is climbing again, too, after several months of declines during what was a particularly harsh winter for large portions of the country.

Especially encouraging are sales of things like furniture and building supplies, which pair well with the notion that housing is turning around.

On top of that, there was growth in discretionary categories, suggesting that a more broadly based economic recovery might be around the corner.

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