Strong auto sales boost overall retail sales for June

220px-Car_dealership_in_Rockville_Maryland_JeepStrong automotive sales in June helped to contribute to overall 0.4 percent month-over-month growth in the retail industry.

“Strong automotive sales helped drive retail sales for the month,” Curt Long, a staff economist at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. “Sales growth has been volatile over the last several months as consumers have adjusted to fluctuating gasoline prices, payroll tax changes and government spending cuts.”

Total retail sales jumped by 0.4 percent, compared to May, and May’s numbers were revised to reflect a 0.5 percent retail growth increase. Year-over-year retail sales growth reached 5.7 percent in June. May’s numbers were revised to 4.4 percent growth.

Core retail sales, which exclude light vehicles and gasoline, fell by 0.1 percent in June, while automobile and gas purchases increased by 1.4 percent. Core sales increased 4.5 percent year-over-year, and automobile and gas sales increased 8.7 percent year-over-year.

Furniture and home furnishing retailers saw the biggest growth at 2.4 percent, followed by nonstore retailers at 2.1 percent and motor vehicle and parts stores at 1.8 percent. Building materials stores saw a 2.2 percent decrease in sales, and the food and beverage industry saw a 1.2 percent decrease.

“Fiscal sequestration is starting to affect employment levels, and is expected to be a drag on consumers going forward,” Long said.

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