June 12, 2014

Retail sales below expectations in May

June 13, 2014 – May retail sales numbers were lower than expected, despite increasing by 0.3 percent since April, according to NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long.

Long analyzed data from the Census Bureau for a NAFCU Macro Data Flash. Long said the relatively small amount of growth was "balanced against the sizable upward revisions to the April estimate. Overall, retail sales continue to show solid year-over-year gains." April's numbers were revised upward to an increase of 0.5 percent; May's year-over-year retail sales growth was 4.2 percent.

Long also said that "monthly gains were led by strong vehicle sales as Memorial Day weekend incentives helped lure buyers." Motor vehicle stores saw the biggest increase in May with 1.4 percent growth, followed by non-store retailers at 0.6 percent and furniture and home furnishings stores at 0.5 percent. General merchandisers and clothing and accessories stores saw sales decreases of 0.6 percent each.

Core retail sales, excluding light vehicles and gasoline, did not measurably change in May, while auto and gas sales increased by 1 percent.