July 15, 2014

Retail sales increased 0.2% in June

July 16, 2014 – Total retail sales increased by only 0.2 percent in June, held down in large part by declining auto sales, according to data from the Census Bureau analyzed by NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long.

"Overall, this was a somewhat disappointing report," Long said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. "The drop in auto sales was the main reason and was very surprising considering the vehicle sales report in June was so positive (rising to 17 million units)."

May's retail sales numbers were revised upward to an increase of 0.5 percent.

Also of note in this report:

  • Core retail sales – excluding light vehicles and gasoline – increased 0.4 percent in June while retail sales of auto and gas decreased 0.1 percent for the month.
  • Year-over-year growth in retail sales was 4.3 percent in June; the May number was revised to 4.6 percent growth.
  • General merchandise stores saw a 1.1 percent growth, followed by nonstore retailers (0.9 percent) and clothing and accessories stores (0.8 percent).

"Record high stock prices, rising home values and an improving labor market should allow consumers to release some of their pent-up demand," Long said. "Retail sales are expected to grow as the rest of the economy continues to improve throughout the year."