Retail sales rose again in May as consumers continued to spend despite economic challenges.
Consumers continued to spend on household priorities in May, supported by gains in the job market and wages. Retailers recognize the ongoing pressure on cost-sensitive consumers and are offering competitive pricing, a wide product mix, and convenient shopping options to help stretch family budgets.
Despite inflation and interest rate pressures, there are no signs of an abrupt slowing ahead. Shoppers have slowed purchases in some categories year-over-year, but these numbers confirm that consumers are still spending. Job growth and wages are providing support, although inflation continues to nibble away at consumer income. As spring shopping peaks, May has historically been a strong month for retail, but above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation have likely played a favorable role.
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in May were up 0.3% from April and up 1.6% year over year. In April, sales were up 0.4% month over month and up 1.2% year over year.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants, showed May was up 0.4% from April and up 4.4% unadjusted year over year. In April, sales were up 0.6% month over month and 1.4% year over year.