Sales fizzle in June

The beginning of summer didn't give a boost to consumer spending as retail sales fell for the second straight month.
 
Retail sales unexpectedly slipped 0.1% in June after being unchanged in May. Sales were up 3.2% unadjusted from June 2016, according to the National Retail Federation, and 3.9% on a three-month moving average year-over-year. (The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.) 
 
“Deflating pricing in retail continues to aggravate measurements of spending in June," said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. "Consumers continue to make purchases, but total sales reflects depressed prices on the volume of goods purchased.  Given the strength of consumer sentiment and other indicators – housing prices, net worth and use of credit – it’s puzzling to see consumer spending move at a slower pace.
 
Sales in June were driven by online and other non-store sales. Building materials and furniture also reported gains, perhaps reflecting a stronger housing market.
 
Specifics include:
 
• Online and other non-store sales increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted over May and increased 9.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
• Sales at clothing and accessories stores decreased 0.1% seasonally adjusted from May and increased 1% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
 
• Sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted over May and increased 2.3% year-over-year.
 
• Electronics and appliances stores’ sales increased 1% seasonally adjusted over May and increased 1.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
• Furniture and home furnishings stores’ sales increased 1% seasonally adjusted from May and increased 3.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
• Sales at building materials and supplies stores sales increased 5% from May and increased 5.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
•  Sporting goods stores’ sales decreased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from May and decreased 7.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
• Sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.3% over May and increased 0.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
 
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