According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail industry sales for May (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose an impressive 8.2% over last year and 0.2% seasonally adjusted over April.
“Even with low consumer confidence, high gas prices and questionable interest rates, consumers continued to spend this last year,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells.
“A housing market plateau and possible inflation will prove to be the deciding factor the remainder of the year.”
May retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 7.6% unadjusted year-over-year and a 0.1% increase from the previous month. Figures were also revised to show March to April sales with a slight increase from initial reports of 0.5% to 0.8%.
The strongest increase in retail sales came in the building material and gardening equipment and supplies category, with an astounding 14.4% growth unadjusted over last year. Electronics and appliance stores also saw healthy gains, with sales increasing 7.2% unadjusted from last April. Furniture and home furnishing stores were also among the top, showing a 9.1% increase over last years sales. Clothing and clothing accessories stores were among the top performers as well, with a 6.7% increase year-over-year. Health and personal care stores rose a solid 7.6% increase and sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores continued their growth with a 9.3% unadjusted from last year.