U.S. Retail Sales Climb 0.5% In June, Matching Economist Estimates

Retail sales in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday.

The report said retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in June after soaring by an upwardly revised 1.3 percent in May. Economists had expected sales to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.8 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The continued growth in retail sales was partly due to a jump in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, with surged up by 0.9 percent in June after climbing by 0.8 percent in May.

Excluding the jump in auto sales, retail sales still rose by 0.4 percent in June following a 1.4 percent spike in May. The increase in ex-auto sales also matched economist estimates.

Sales by health and personal care stores showed a significant increase, shooting up by 2.2 percent in June following a 1.3 percent jump in May.

Notable increases in sales by food service and drinking places, non-store retailers and gas stations also helped to offset steep drops in sales by sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores, clothing and accessories stores and department stores.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, were unchanged in June after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in May.

“Real consumption growth looks to have rebounded from 0.9% annualized in the first quarter to around 3% in the second, with overall GDP growth close to 4%,” said Andrew Hunter, U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, “With jobs growth strong, wage growth starting to pick up and the tax cuts still supporting disposable incomes, we expect consumer spending to continue expanding at a 2.5% to 3.0% annualized pace in the second half of this year.”

Compared to the same month a year ago, retail sales were up by 6.6 percent in June versus the 6.5 percent year-over-year increase in May.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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