May retail sales up 4.4% from year ago

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 905 views 

Consumer spending on goods, excluding automobiles, restaurants and gas stations, was up 4.4% from a year ago in May. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports retail sales are up 4.2% year over year for the first five months of the year.

“Consumers continued to spend on household priorities in May, supported by gains in the job market and wages,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers recognize the ongoing pressure on cost-sensitive consumers and are offering competitive pricing, a wide product mix and convenient shopping options to help stretch family budgets.”

The broader U.S. Census Bureau report said all retail sales totaled $686.6 billion in May, up 1.6% from a year and flat against last month. Despite the slowing growth, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said the report was positive even with inflation and rising interest rates.

“Even though shoppers dialed back in some categories on a year-over-year basis, these numbers confirm that consumers still have the capacity to spend. Job growth and wages are providing buoyancy, although inflation continues to take a bite out of consumer income. May is typically a strong month for retail as spring shopping hits its peak, but above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation no doubt played a favorable role,” he said.

NRF reported that May sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by health and personal care stores, online sales and grocery and beverage stores. Following are the sectors with the year-over-year percentage change.
Health and personal care stores, up 9.7%
Online sales, up 8.7%
Grocery and beverage stores, up 3.7%
Sporting goods stores, up 2.5%
Building materials and garden supply stores, up 1.9%
General merchandise stores, up 1.7%
Clothing and clothing accessory stores, down 0.2%
Electronics and appliance stores, down 4.1%
Furniture and home furnishings stores, down 4.5%