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Consumer spending cooled in May

Retailers still relatively optimistic for fall

Washington - Pure retail sales - excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants - rose 4.8% unadjusted year-over-year in May, marking the 23rd straight month of growth, according to the National Retail Federation. Adjusted from April, sales fell 0.3%.
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that retail sales when including automobiles, gas stations and restaurants rose 7.1% unadjusted year-over-year in May but fell 0.2% seasonally adjusted from April.
"As the first industry to feel any backlash from consumers' attitudes about the revival of the economy, retailers are far from discouraged by May's sales report, it's evident that consumers are simply taking a breath," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. "Going forward, retailers will make sure to keep a steady eye on key economic indicators, being cautious with inventory and promotions as back to school - the second biggest time of the year - approaches."
Sales for furniture and home furnishing stores' sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 11.4% unadjusted year-over-year, according to NRF.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz likened the current economy to "an old machine with many fits, starts and even some sputtering."

"This economy thus far is working like an old machine with many fits, starts and even some sputtering," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Overall though, consumers are benefiting from the slow but steady decline in gasoline prices and we expect growth will resume, and should pick up through the fall."
He added: "Overall though, consumers are benefiting from the slow but steady decline in gasoline prices and we expect growth will resume, and should pick up through the fall."
In other segment breakouts:

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 7.3% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores' sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores' sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores' sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but increased 9.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

 

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