WASHINGTON — Retail sales edged up about 1.2% in July, compared with year-ago levels, according to National Retail Federation here. The figure excludes auto, gas and restaurant sales. Sales were up 0.8% over June level NRF reported, following three months of declining growth. “Halfway through the back-to-school season retailers are seeing positive signs that consumers are spending,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and chief executive officer. Read more: Warm June ...

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