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.


About Author

Tim Nicholson

Tim Nicholson is an economic research associate at ABA.