Report: May Sales Encouraging

Chicago According to a report released Wednesday by ShopperTrak RCT Corp., retail sales rose 1.7% in May, and total U.S. foot traffic was up 3.7%.

Although oil prices reached record high levels during the month, consumers continued to visit various retail locations and spend—especially early in the month for Mother’s Day gifts, according to ShopperTrak’ National Retail Sales Estimate.

While retail sales returned to slower, more seasonal levels later in the month, traffic remained steady as bargain shoppers continued making visits to take advantage of post-holiday sales to spend at a discounted rate.

“The May traffic performance is encouraging as it marks the second consecutive monthly increase following a period of 16 months where retailers experienced a downward traffic trend,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.

“If, as anticipated, fuel prices continue to reach record highs throughout the summer, we might see retail traffic slow a bit, but consumers have adjusted to this in the recent past and we expect them to remain resilient and continue to spend.”

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