Thursday, June 12, 2008

Retail Sales

With the help of Uncle Sam and his $50 billion in rebate checks thus far, retail sales managed to beat expectations for the month of May, gaining 1.0%, after an upwardly revised April. Excluding automobile purchases, sales were up 1.2%, the largest increase in six months. Economists were expecting a 0.6% gain in total sales and a 0.8% gain ex-auto.

In the past year, retail sales are up 2.5%, while sales excluding autos are up 4.9%. The figures are not adjusted for price changes.

Report Details

Motor vehicle sales rose 0.3% in May and were down 7% in the past year.

Sales at furniture stores rose 0.4%, the biggest increase in 10 months.

Sales at electronics and appliance stores rose 0.7%.

Sales at building supply and garden stores rose 2.4%, the second straight increase over 2%.

Sales at general merchandise stores rose 1.2%, including a 0.8% increase at department stores. It was the largest increase at general merchandise stores in 14 months.

Sales at nonstore retailers rose 1.6%, as high gas costs encouraged more consumers to shop online or through catalogs.

Excluding the 2.6% rise in gas station sales, sales still increased 0.8%, the biggest gain in a year.

See Full Report.

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