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Strong Job Market Buoys May US Retail Sales

June 19, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
The Galleria Houston,,Tx image

US retail sales showed a return to growth in May amid a healthy job market and strong salary increases. 

Revenue rose 0.1% from the previous month to $703.1 billion — adjusted for seasonal variation — compared to a 0.2% decrease in April, according to data the US Census Bureau released Tuesday. However, despite the slight increase, the figure is below the 0.2% Dow Jones estimated hike for the month. 

“Consumers have clearly retained their ability to spend and are driving solid economic growth,” said National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO Matthew Shay. “Spending is being supported by the job market and real wage gains. Inflation remains stubborn but is almost entirely in services rather than retail goods.” 

Sales climbed 3% from a year earlier, up from April’s 0.6% year-on-year decrease, the NRF noted. Total sales improved 2.1% year-on-year for the first five months. 

May sales grew year on year in five of the nine retail categories the NRF monitors, on par with the previous month. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — increased 1.4% compared to April and advanced 6% versus the same period a year ago. Online sales saw the largest year-on-year gain, rising 18%, while building and garden supply stores; sporting goods, hobby, music and bookstores; electronics and appliances; and furniture all fell. 

Image: The Galleria shopping mall in Houston, Texas. (Shutterstock)

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The Galleria Houston,,Tx image Strong Job Market Buoys May US Retail Sales

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