There was a small uptick in consumer spending (excluding cars, gas and eating out) from April to May – but looked at YOY, there was a meaningful and beneficial uptick in spending. The NRF hailed the power of the American consumer.
According to NRF, spending was up 0.6% May over April, and it was up an impressive 4.8% May 2013 over May 2012. When the YOY results are adjusted, the number shrinks a bit to 4.3%.
“The American consumer continues to drive the U.S. economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “In spite on fluctuating gas prices, severe weather in much of the country and fiscal policy uncertainty, consumers continue to demonstrate an inherent resiliency and flexibility. We should never underestimate the role and strength of the American shopper or the retailers that serve them.”
Added NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, “Stronger employment data and increasing home and equity prices lifted confidence and spending this spring. The economy is improving, albeit slowly, but we still have a long way to go. Stagnant salaries continue to constrain further economic acceleration. While sequester and tax increases dampened sales growth in the first quarter, it appears that the economy absorbed most of the blow.”
From NRF, here are other key takeaways from the latest report:
* Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 0.9 percent seasonally-adjusted and increased 9.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and decreased 0.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales decreased 0.8 seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 0.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 2.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.7 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 11.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
* Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 1.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.