United States: Retail sales exceed expectations in May
June 14, 2013
In May, retail sales rose 0.6% over the previous month in nominal terms. The reading was above both the 0.1% rise recorded in April and market expectations of a 0.4% increase. Eight out of the 13 categories that compose the index rose over the previous month, with sales at building material stores, as well as of motor vehicles and parts dealers experiencing the largest gains.
Retail sales excluding autos and gas - a closely watched subcategory within the retail trade index - rose 0.3% over the previous month. The reading came in below the revised 0.5% reading in April (previously reported: +0.6% month-on-month), but matched market expectations.
In annual terms, retail sales rose 4.3% in May, which was above the 3.7% increase recorded in April. Despite the monthly improvement, the trend points downwards, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 4.5% in April to 4.4% in May.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect private consumption to grow 1.9% in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.7%.