Retail sales post another gain in June

Consumers boosted their spending in June, a move that contributed to the fifth consecutive month of retail sales gains.

Retail sales increased 0.07% seasonally adjusted over May, and 4.2% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Overall June sales – including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – were up 0.5% over May. Sales rose 6.6% year-over-year.

The June results build on improvement seen in May, which was up 1% monthly, and up 6.1% year-over-year.

“This is a healthy retail sales report and consistent with underlying economic momentum that has fueled a steady run of retail sales increases,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Moving forward however, the trade war could have an impact on consumer confidence.

“The big question is whether households can continue this spending pace, which is helping drive the current economic cycle.” said Kleinhenz. “We think they can, but the big risk to the outlook is the trade war, which could raise prices while reducing consumer confidence and household buying power.”

Specifics from key retail sectors during June include:
• Online and other non-store sales were up 7.3% year-over-year, and up 1.3% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Health and personal care stores were up 5.8% year-over-year, and up 2.2% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 4.6% year-over-year, but down 2.5% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 4.4% year-over-year, and up 0.6% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Grocery and beverage stores were up 4.2% year-over-year, but down 0.3% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• General merchandise stores were up 3.1% year-over-year, but down 0.8% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Building materials and garden supply stores were up 2.8% year-over-year and up 0.8% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.6% year-over-year, but down 0.4% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

• Sporting goods stores were down 3.7% year-over-year, and down 3.2% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

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