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NRF finds Q2 retail sales lackuster, but home goods stores shine

Washington -- Consumer spending and retail sales ended the second quarter on a soft note, indicating that economic growth and acceleration has weakened.

Still, home furnishing and furniture stores' sales were up 2.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 1.6% unadjusted year-over-year.

These findings are according to the National Retail Federation, which reported that June retail sales -- excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants -- increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from May and grew by 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.

"Consumers remain wary," said Matthew Shay, president and ceo, NRF. "Even though healthy home prices and stock values are helping to improve confidence and spending, stagnantly-high unemployment, higher taxes and lingering policy uncertainty continue to keep shoppers and economic growth at bay. The recovery is solid and good but its pace remains measured and modest."



June retail sales released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau showed that total retail and food services sales, which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 5.7% adjusted year-over-year.

"The consumer economy is improving but growth rates and retail sales will remain reserved for the foreseeable future," said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. "U.S. households have adjusted their spending to a slow-growth economy. With employment and consumer confidence improving, we expect that the second half will be better than the first."


Here are other findings from NRF's June retail sales report:

• Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores' sales decreased 2.2% seasonally-adjusted yet increased 6.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

• Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

• Electronics and appliance stores' sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year.

• General merchandise stores' sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

• Health and personal care stores' sales increased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

• Nonstore retailers' sales increased 2.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 11.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores' sales increased 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year.

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