Live news: Cava shares surge more than 100% on trading debut

US retail sales defied expectations for a contraction in May, a sign the American consumer remained resilient despite high interest rates and uncertainty about the economy as the debt ceiling decision loomed.

Sales, which include spending on food and petrol, rose 0.3 per cent, the Census Bureau said on Thursday. That was more than the 0.1 per cent decline economists forecast, but down from the 0.4 per cent increase in April.

The key driver was a 2.2 per cent increase in spending on building materials and garden dealers, as consumers spruce up their yards for summer. Spending on motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 1.4 per cent, but sales at petrol stations fell 2.6 per cent from a month ago.

The retail control group, which excludes building materials, motor vehicle parts and petrol station sales, was up 0.2 per cent, matching economists’ expectations.