Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retails Sales
Retail sales slipped down 0.2 percent in May following a 0.3 percent gain in April. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales are up 7.7 percent. Performance was mixed across broad categories. Notably, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 2.9 percent in May after a 0.7 percent decrease in April, dragging down the headline series (which rose 0.3 percent in May after excluding this category). Nominal sales at gasoline stations edged up 0.3 percent in May (likely as gasoline prices stabilized), compared to its 12-month (price-induced) 22.3 percent gain. Elsewhere, sales at furniture and home furnishing stores and electronics and appliance stores fell for the second consecutive month, decreasing 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in May. Nominal sales in May also fell at food and beverage stores (down 0.5 percent), sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (down 0.4 percent), and general merchandise stores (down 0.1 percent). Sales at the remaining 7 (out of 13) broad categories were up in May, led by miscellaneous store retailers (up 2.1 percent), nonstore retailers (up 1.2 percent), and health and personal care stores (up 0.8 percent). An alternative gauge of retail spending—“core” retail sales (sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations)—edged up just 0.2 percent during the month, its smallest increase over the past five months. The near-term (3-month) annualized growth rate in core retail sales has slipped a bit in recent months—from 10.2 percent in March to 4.7 percent through May, and is now trending slightly below its year-over-year growth rate of 6.1 percent.