The June survey of Retail Executives conducted by the National Retail Federation didn’t appear to reflect the solid month at retail as the monthly index generated from the study indicated some concerns for the near-term, but a brighter outlook for the fall. The respondents saw stronger traffic due to the improving seasonal weather picture, but seemed to back off any indications of stronger resulting sales figures.

According to the most recent NRF Executive Opinion Survey, a monthly index by the National Retail Federation, the Retail Sector Performance Index (RSPI) for June dipped 1.1 points in June from the May reading, but was up a full four points from June 2004.

The RSPI measures retail executives' evaluations of a number of key metrics and is based on a scale of 0.0 – 100.0 with 50.0 equaling normal.

The Customer Traffic index certainly picked up for the month, but the Sales index improved just slightly and the Average Transaction per Customer took a big step back, falling a full ten points from the May reading when lighter traffic was generating more sales.

The decline in the Sector Inventories index may signal heavier spring/summer inventories that did not liquidate as planned through June. The reading here was 5.4 points below May, but was about even with last year’s June reading. The Operations Index posted a normal reading of 50.9, just below last month’s 53.6 reading.

The good news is that the executives surveyed continued to take a more positive approach to their outlook through the holiday selling season. The Demand Outlook, which measures the respondents’ six-month look-ahead view, increased another 1.3 points in June.

NRF Retail Executive Opinion Survey
Summary Statistics — June 2005
  Mar Apr May Jun
Retail Perform. Index 58.4 50.5 53.6 52.5
Current Demand Index 61.4 44.5 50.0 48.3
Sales 61.4 41.7 46.4 46.7
Customer Traffic 59.1 38.9 39.3 45.0
Avg. Trans./Customer 63.6 52.8 64.3 53.3
Operations Index 52.3 54.2 53.6 50.9
Sector Employment 47.7 47.2 50.0 50.0
Sector Inventories 56.8 61.1 57.1 51.7
Demand Outlook 61.5 52.8 57.1 58.3
Pricing Index 45.5 38.9 39.3 28.3