Retail Sales Show the Resilience of the US Economy

Data from the commerce department show retail sales rose more than expected in May (0.6% > 0.4%e). That’s up from a 0.1% gain in April and it’s the fastest pace since February.


In details, eight of 13 major retail categories showed gains last month. Sales at car dealerships rose 1.8 per cent in May, the largest increase since 6 months, following a 0.7% gain in April. Building materials (+0.9%) and food & beverages stores (+0.7%) were supported by a milder weather while spending from gasoline stations fell (-0.2%).


Core sales, which strip out volatile components such as cars, petrol and building materials and are the best guide to the underlying health of the US consumer rose 0.3% in May, after a 0.2% gain the prior month.


The only not-so-good reading for the May retail sales report was the downward revision to the control group for April, from an original increase of 0.5 percent to just 0.2 percent. It implies a downward revision for the Q1 GDP more precisely the personal consumption expenditures of goods.