Consumer spending and retail sales in the United States ended the second quarter on a soft note, according to the National Retail Federation, which the association says indicates that economic growth and acceleration has weakened.
The organization said June 2013 retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from May and increased 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
"Consumers remain wary," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Even though healthy home prices and stock values are helping to improve confidence and spending, stagnantly-high unemployment, higher taxes and lingering policy uncertainty continue to keep shoppers and economic growth at bay. The recovery is solid and good but its pace remains measured and modest."
"The consumer economy is improving but growth rates and retail sales will remain reserved for the foreseeable future," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "U.S. households have adjusted their spending to a slow-growth economy. With employment and consumer confidence improving, we expect that the second half will be better than the first."
June retail sales, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau, showed that electronics and appliance stores' sales were down 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and were down 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year.
Building material and garden equipment dealers stores' sales were down 2.2% seasonally adjusted, but increased 6.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
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