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Tax rebates help boost May sales


NEW YORK May retail sales exceeded expectations, according to Bernstein Research, which reported that retail sales, excluding autos, for the month posted a 1.2% gain over April's revised 1% gain.

The sales gain in May was attributed to increased spending of tax rebate checks, warmer weather and food and gas price inflation.

"The consumer continues to face headwinds of a weak housing market, slowing labor conditions, high food  and gas prices, and ongoing credit pressures. While we expect a challenging retail environment throughout  this year, we do anticipate some continued benefit from the stimulus checks," said Bernstein.

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