United States Retail May 2022

United States

United States: Retail sales dip in May

June 15, 2022

Retail sales fell 0.3% month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in May (April: +0.7% mom). The outturn marked the worst reading since December 2021 and confounded market expectations of a small increase. The figure suggests that multi-decade high inflation could be weighing on consumers’ spending intentions. The reading was partly driven by a deterioration in motor vehicle and parts dealers sales, amid vehicle shortages. In contrast, food and beverages sales rebounded. Lastly, non-store retailers and gasoline stations sales gained pace, with the latter buoyed by higher fuel prices (as the retail sales data is reported in nominal terms).

On an annual basis, retail sales rose at a faster rate of 8.1% in May (April: +7.8% yoy). Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at 14.0% in May, down from April's 15.7%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 3.1% in 2022, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2023, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.1%.


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United States Retail May 2022 0

Note: Month-on-month and year-on-year variation of nominal retail sales in %.
Source: United States Census Bureau.


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