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Retail sales slump continues

Retail Editor 5 -- Home Textiles Today, July 16, 2012

Washington - Retail sales declined again in June, marking the third month in a row of month-over-month decreases, according to the National Retail Federation. However, year-over-year, sales rose for the 24th consecutive month.
June retail sales - excluding automobile, gas stations and restaurants -decreased 0.4% seasonally adjusted from May but increased 1.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
In the furniture and home furnishing stores segment, sales decreased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 8.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
Today's June retail sales report by the U.S. Department of Commerce - which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants - fell 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month but increased 3.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
"There is no doubt consumers struggled with discretionary spending last month, but many families may be looking at this as a temporary break as they save up for back-to-school shopping in July and August," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz characterized the numbers as "discouraging but not demoralizing."
He added: "If you look at the first half of the year overall, retail sales actually increased 4.6% year-over-year, indicating that the economy is improving but maybe not quick enough to impact consumer spending and job growth."

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