US retail sales slowed in May amid inflation: NRF

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Retail sales slowed in May as consumers faced continuing inflation and higher prices for essentials like food and gasoline, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said. Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 0.1 per cent month over month seasonally adjusted and up 6 per cent unadjusted year over year. Online and other non-store sales were down 1 per cent month over month seasonally adjusted but up 8.5 per cent unadjusted year over year.

“Retail sales are reflecting Americans’ growing concern about inflation and its impact on the cost of everything from groceries to gas,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are doing what they can to keep prices down, but we continue our call on the administration to repeal unnecessary and costly tariffs on goods from China to relieve pressure on American consumers and their family budgets.”

Retail sales slowed in May as consumers faced continuing inflation and higher prices for essentials, NRF said. Clothing and accessory stores were up 0.1 per cent month over month (MoM) seasonally adjusted and up 6 per cent unadjusted year over year (YoY), while online sales were down 1 per cent MoM seasonally adjusted but up 8.5 per cent unadjusted YoY.

“There’s been little relief from inflation, and we expected some cooling off in sales in reaction to prices,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “There have been swings across sectors that reflect the impact of both higher prices and supply chain disturbances, and higher interest rates are expected to curb spending going forward. As inflation continues, consumers are looking for ways to stretch their dollars by saving less, tapping into savings accumulated during the pandemic and increasing their use of credit.”

The US Census Bureau said overall retail sales in May were down 0.3 per cent seasonally adjusted from April but up 8.1 per cent year over year. That compared with increases of 0.7 per cent month over month and 7.8 per cent year over year in April.

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed May was unchanged seasonally adjusted from April but up 6.7 per cent unadjusted year over year. In April, sales were up 0.4 per cent month over month and up 5.5 per cent year over year.

NRF’s numbers were up 5.4 per cent unadjusted year over year on a three-month moving average as of May. Sales were up 7.3 per cent year over year for the first five months of the year.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KD)





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