U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in 6 months

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 14, 2018

Overall retail sales rose 0.8 percent from the prior month, double the consensus economic estimate of 0.4 percent, according to Commerce Department data released Thursday.

US retail sales increased more than expected in May as consumers bought motor vehicle and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter. April's sales growth was revised higher, from 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent.

USA retail sales rose by the most in six months in May, as consumers spent more at home and garden stores, gas stations and restaurants.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.4 percent in May. These so-called coreretail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time this year.

"This suggests a pretty strong rebound in second-quarter growth", said Joseph Song, senior USA economist at Bank of America Corp.

The strong retail sales report added to data ranging from the labor market to manufacturing and trade in suggesting the economy was regaining momentum in the second quarter after growth slowed at the start of the year amid a sharp step-down in consumer spending. Clothing stores had their biggest advance in more than a year at 1.3 percent and building-materials vendors saw a 2.4 percent rise, the most since September, when demand got a boost from post-hurricane rebuilding. Filling-station receipts in May increased 2 percent, the most since November, reflecting a jump in fuel prices that are near the highest level since 2014. The U.S. saving rate slipped to 3.1 percent in the first three months of the year, down from 3.9 percent a year earlier. Expensive gasoline, if sustained, could pull spending away from other categories.

The only sectors to show declines were furniture and home furnishings, with a 2.4 percent drop - the most since 2013 - along with sporting goods and hobby stores and food and beverage sellers.

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