EVEN WITH DISCOUNTS abounding on seasonal merchandise and apparel, shoppers continued to hold tightly to their wallets last month. Unseasonal weather through most of the country last month also impacted spending. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for June (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) decreased 3.8 percent unadjusted over last year and decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month.
June retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and decreased 7.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
“Although several economic indicators are starting to show signs of improvement, it is going to take a few more months -- maybe longer -- for people to feel comfortable spending again,” said Rosalind Wells, chief economist of NRF. “High unemployment and other uncertainties will continue to impact consumer spending through the remainder of this quarter.”
A few retailers saw small increases in month-to-month sales but still reported declines year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales increased 0.9 percent adjusted from May and decreased 0.2 percent unadjusted from last year. Sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 0.9 percent adjusted month-to-month but decreased 10.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Health and personal care stores sales decreased 0.3 percent adjusted from last month but increased a solid 3.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales were flat adjusted month-to-month and decreased 6.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.