Retail Sales: Increases Modestly in May

June 14, 2016
Bottom Line: Total retail spending rose in May, more than expectations. Core retail sales also increased and were led by gains in gasoline stations and nonstore retailers. While gasoline is a volatile component, both overall and core retail sales are now increasing on a year over year basis. Core Sales ex-gasoline stations and ex-building materials during April and May were moderately (5.9%) above their Q1 averages, suggesting that real consumer spending will likely be strong in Q2 GDP. Retail Sales ROSE by 0.5% in May, compared with the market consensus for an increase of 0.3%. Retail sales are now 2.5% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 2.3%. Spending at motor vehicle dealers climbed by 0.5%. Core Retail Sales ROSE by 0.4%, in line with the market consensus. Core retail sales are now 2.7% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 1.3%. In May, gains at gasoline stations, primarily due to high gasoline prices (+2.1%), nonstore retailers (+1.3%), grocery stores (+0.5%), clothing stores (+0.8%), health and personal care (+0.6%), sporting goods, hobbies, etc. (+1.3%), electronic and appliance stores (+0.3%) were partially offset by declines in building materials (-1.8%), general merchandise stores (-0.3%), miscellaneous retailers (-1.2%) and furniture & home furnishing (-0.1%). Core Retail Sales ex Gasoline ROSE by 0.3% and are now 4.1% ABOVE their year ago level; just a year ago, the year over year growth rate was 4.4%.
Article by contingentmacro