NRF: May Retail Sales up, But Consumer Spending Still Slow

WASHINGTON - On an 11-consecutive- month roll, retail sales were up again in May, said the National Retail Federation.
     However, higher gas prices and an anemic labor market "took the steam out of consumer spending, with only a few retail sectors reporting growth," added the NRF, which found that retail industry sales - excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants - ticked up 0.1% seasonally adjusted from April and 5.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
     NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said: "After a string of disappointing government reports relating to economic activity and employment, May's retail report supports the idea of the economy hitting a soft patch. Though consumers are spending cautiously, we are not seeing them cut out new purchases completely, signaling there is a distinct appetite to spend if economic conditions let them."
     May retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales - including non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - fell 0.2% seasonally adjusted over April and were up 7.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
     Furniture and home furnishing stores sales decreased 0.7% seasonally adjusted over April and increased 0.6% unadjusted over April 2010.
     And "surprisingly, seasonal weather helped boost building material and garden equipment stores sales, in spite of weak housing market reports," NRF said, as sales at these types of stores increased 1.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a strong 11.3% unadjusted over last year.
     NRF said it expects the pace of the recovery to pick up in time for the back-to-school season.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • 1200 Suppliers are Ready for You at Intertextile Shanghai

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT August 2017

See the August 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 50 Retailing Giants Report, plus Manufacturing: Made in the USA gaining ground; International: Portugal ramping up exports; New products: NY Now home textiles introductions; Outlook: Commentary from H&TT's editors; and Planning: Trade show calendar.

See details!