Market Overview

June Retail Sales Continue 'Steady Run' with 4.2 Percent Increase over 2017 Despite Threats from Trade War

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June retail sales were up 0.07 percent seasonally adjusted from May's
strong performance and increased 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year
as economic growth continued despite the U.S. trade war with China and
other countries, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers
exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

"This is a healthy retail sales report and consistent with underlying
economic momentum that has fueled a steady run of retail sales
increases," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "The big question
is whether households can continue this spending pace, which is helping
drive the current economic cycle. We think they can, but the big risk to
the outlook is the trade war, which could raise prices while reducing
consumer confidence and household buying power."

The three-month moving average was up 4.4 percent over the same period a
year ago, matching the top end of NRF's forecast that 2018
retail sales will grow between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent
over 2017.

The June results build on improvement seen in May, which was up 1
percent monthly and up 6.1 percent year-over-year.

NRF's numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said
overall June sales – including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants –
were up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from May and up 6.6 percent
year-over-year.

Specifics from key retail sectors during June include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 7.3 percent year-over-year
    and up 1.3 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 5.8 percent year-over-year and
    up 2.2 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 4.6 percent
    year-over-year but down 2.5 percent month-over-month seasonally
    adjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 4.4 percent
    year-over-year and up 0.6 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 4.2 percent year-over-year but
    down 0.3 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were up 3.1 percent year-over-year but down
    0.8 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Building materials and garden supply stores were up 2.8 percent
    year-over-year and up 0.8 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.6 percent year-over-year
    but down 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
  • Sporting goods stores were down 3.7 percent year-over-year and down
    3.2 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade
association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and
department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street
merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation's largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy.

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