Stronger consumer spending and consumer confidence helped drive retail sales in the United States in May 2013, according the National Retail Federation. The association said May retail sales (not including automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) were up 0.6% seasonally adjusted from April and were up 4.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
"The American consumer continues to drive the U.S. economy," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "In spite of fluctuating gas prices, severe weather in much of the country and fiscal policy uncertainty, consumers continue to demonstrate an inherent resiliency and flexibility. We should never underestimate the role and strength of the American shopper or the retailers that serve them."
May retail sales data was released by the U.S. Department of Commerce and showed total retail and foodservices sales (including non-general merchandise categories like automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) were up 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.3% adjusted year-over-year.
"Stronger employment data and increasing home and equity prices lifted confidence and spending this spring," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "The economy is improving, albeit slowly, but we still have a long way to go. Stagnant salaries continue to constrain further economic acceleration. While sequester and tax increases dampened sales growth in the first quarter, it appears that the economy absorbed most of the blow."
The association reported that:
* Sales in May at building material and garden equipment and supplies stores were up 0.9%, seasonally adjusted, and sales were up 9.3% unadjusted year-over-year.
* Sales at electronics and appliance stores in May 2013 were down 0.4% seasonally adjusted, and were down 0.2% unadjusted in 2013 so far.
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