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Jul 19, 2023

June retail sales increase despite slower job growth

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales showed growth in June, even with a slowdown in employment gains. 


“June retail sales confirm that while the economy may be cooling, consumers remain on solid footing and are spending on household priorities,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. 


“Back-to-class spending is one of the most important shopping occasions of the year, and NRF’s consumer research shows that back-to-school and college spending is expected to set new records. Consumers are looking for the best value and deals, and retailers are well stocked with essential items for families and students.”


The US Census Bureau reported a 0.2% increase in overall retail sales from May to June, with a year-over-year increase of 1.5%. In May, sales had risen by 0.5% month-on-month and 2% year-on-year. Excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants, NRF's retail sales calculation indicated a 0.4% rise in June compared to May and a 3.3% unadjusted increase year-on-year.


On a yearly basis, June sales saw growth in six out of nine retail categories, led by online sales, health and personal care stores, and electronics and appliances stores. On a monthly basis, four categories experienced an increase in sales.


“The pace of spending is slower, but consumers are still in control of the direction of the economy thanks to the still-growing labor market and a comfortable cushion of savings,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. 


“Jobs aren’t growing as fast as they were, but employment is by no means in a slump, and if consumers have jobs, they have the willingness to spend. On average, consumer balance sheets remain sturdy, and they have the wherewithal to support spending for most of the rest of the year. That’s thanks, in part, to excess savings built up during the pandemic along with easing inflation.”

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