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June Retail Up Despite  Slower Job Gains

June Retail Up Despite Slower Job Gains

July 20, 2023
Sales will continue as back-to-school and college spending is expected to set new records, says NRF.

Consumers are still shopping, according to a new report from the National Retail Federation.

“June retail sales confirm that while the economy may be cooling, consumers remain on solid footing and are spending on household priorities,” NRF  CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Back-to-class spending is one of the most important shopping occasions of the year, and NRF’s consumer research shows that back-to-school and college spending is expected to set new records. Consumers are looking for the best value and deals, and retailers are well stocked with essential items for families and students.”

Looking specially at the job market, Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist at NRF said:. “Jobs aren’t growing as fast as they were, but employment is by no means in a slump, and if consumers have jobs, they have the willingness to spend. On average, consumer balance sheets remain sturdy and they have the wherewithal to support spending for most of the rest of the year. That’s thanks, in part, to excess savings built up during the pandemic along with easing inflation.”

The  U.S. Census Bureau said on  July 18 that overall retail sales in June were up 0.2% from May and up 1.5% year over year. In May, sales were up 0.5% month over month and up 2% year over year. NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed June was up 0.4% from May and up 3.3% unadjusted year over year.

In May, sales were also up 0.4% month over month and were up 4.4% year over year. NRF’s numbers were up 3.1% unadjusted year over year on a three-month moving average as of May and up 4% for the first six months of the year.

June sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and electronics and appliances stores, and up in four categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 1.9% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 9.9% unadjusted year over year.
  • Health and personal care stores were down 0.1% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 6.6% unadjusted year over year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.1% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 1.8% unadjusted year over year.
  • General merchandise stores were down 0.1% month over month seasonally adjusted but up 1.4% unadjusted year over year.
  • Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 0.6% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 1.3% unadjusted year over year.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were down 0.7% month over month seasonally adjusted but up 1.3% unadjusted year over year.
  • Sporting goods stores were down 1% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 0.9% unadjusted year over year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.4% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 3.6% unadjusted year over year.
  • Building materials and garden supply stores were down 1.2% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 3.7% unadjusted year over year.

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