Drinks drive McDonald's July sales higher

CHICAGO — McDonald's Corp. posted its biggest monthly increase of a key U.S. sales figure in more than a year on Monday, saying its new fruit smoothies and frappes were a hit with customers during a hot and steamy July.

In the U.S., sales at restaurants open at least 13 months climbed 5.7 percent — its biggest monthly increase since it recorded a 6.1 percent gain in April 2009.

Overall, the measure rose 7 percent around the globe. It climbed 5.3 percent in Europe and 10.1 percent in the rest of the world, the world's largest hamburger chain said in a statement on Monday.

The figure is considered an important gauge of a restaurant chain's performance because it excludes the effects of restaurants that open or close during the year.

McDonald's is based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill. It has more than 32,000 restaurants around the world in 100 countries. About 14,000 of its locations are in the U.S.