May retail sales numbers revealed consumer confidence and spending increased by 4.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
“The American consumer continues to drive the U.S. economy,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said. “In spite of fluctuating gas prices, severe weather in much of the country and fiscal policy uncertainty, consumers continue to demonstrate an inherent resiliency and flexibility.”
The Department of Commerce recently released data on retail sales for May, which showed total retail and food services sales, including non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.3 percent adjusted year-over-year. The data also showed building materials, garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted and increased 9.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Health and personal care stores’ sales grew 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales, electronics and appliance stores’ sales and furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales experienced slight decreases.
“Stronger employment data and increasing home and equity prices lifted confidence and spending this spring,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The economy is improving, albeit slowly, but we still have a long way to go.”