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United States Retail May 2024

United States: Retail sales bounce back in May

Retail sales rose 0.1% month-on-month in seasonally adjusted terms in May (April: -0.2% mom), slightly below market expectations. The turnaround came on the back of recoveries in motor vehicle and parts dealers, general merchandise stores, and non-store retailers sales.

On an annual basis, retail sales grew 2.3% in May, which was below April’s 2.7% expansion. Meanwhile, annual average growth of retail sales was 2.9% in May, mirroring April’s figure.

Taken together, consumption of goods and services data for April and retail sales data for May suggests a still-solid private spending outturn in Q2 as a whole, in line with our panelists’ forecasts.

Giving her take on the reading, TD Economics’ Shernette McLeod said:

“With other evidence (slowing hire rate, uptick in unemployment rate etc.) pointing to the labor market cooling however, any deceleration there is likely to see retail spending follow suit. With two months of data in for the quarter, retail spending is currently tracking 1.6% q/q (annualized) for Q2 –  an uptick from a -0.8% (annualized) decline last quarter.”

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