Retail sales increased for the first time by 0.6 percent in May, surpassing expectations by economists of a 0.50% increase. The catch? It is the purchase of automobiles and gas that turned what should have been a negative number into positive.
Courtesy of the WSJ:
Yet excluding autos and gas, all other retail sales fell a fourth straight time. Housing-sector sales dropped, as did restaurants, health stores, and department stores. People are reluctant to spend because of high job losses, depleted wealth, and debt burdens. The unemployment rate rose to 9.5% in June, a 25-year high. A Federal Reserve report June 11 said total net worth of households fell 2.6% in the first quarter.
Without the numbers from automobiles and gas, retail sales would have decreased by 0.20 percent.
- Building material and garden supplies dealers down 0.9%
- Health and personal care stores down 0.3%
- Restaurants and bars down 0.9%
- Clothing store sales were flat
- General merchandise stores down 0.4%
It was however not all down:
- Food and beverage stores up 0.2%
- Electronic stores up 0.9%
- Mail order and Internet retailers up 0.6%
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores up 0.9%
Prices also increased. Producer price index or PPI for finished goods rose 1.8% while core PPI, excluding food and energy, rose 0.50%.