Retail Sales Rose 0.5 Percent in May

There were $455.6 billion of retail and food service sales in May (after adjustment for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes), up 0.5 percent from the previous month and 2.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – increased 0.4 percent after rising 0.8 percent in the previous month. Year-over-year core sales increased by 2.7 percent.

Retail trade sales rose 0.4 percent on the month compared to a 1.4 percent rise in April, and rose 2.0 percent from a year ago.

Sales at gasoline stations increased 2.1 percent in May, but were 9.5 percent lower than a year ago. Sales at department stores fell 0.9 percent on the month, and were 5.8 percent lower than in May 2015.

Read the Census release.