Monday statistic: May retail sales hit near record high
“While May’s retail sales edged down, largely due to supply chain constraints, the most accurate indicator remains in year-over-year data which, according to calculations of the NRF, showed growth of over 17%, “said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF mentioned. “For the first five months of this year, retail sales are already 17.6% higher than the same five months of 2020, giving us additional confidence in our newly revised sales forecast of growth of between 10 , 5% and 13.5% to over $ 4.44 trillion by 2021. While there are downside risks associated with labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks procurement, tax increases and over-regulation, overall, households are healthier and consumers are demonstrating the ability and willingness to spend. We are confident.”
“The month-to-month comparisons and percentages of change just don’t tell the story,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “We are at a very high level of spending, with dollar amounts in recent months among the highest we have ever seen. Long-term trends in the number of dollars spent say a lot more about the continued economic recovery than how month-to-month sales rise or fall. Retail sales as calculated by the NRF were the second highest on record in May, surpassed only by holiday spending in December. Demand has remained strong even as the concentrated impact of government stimulus has faded. There is still pent-up demand for retail goods and consumers are expected to stay on track for growth through the summer. “
the United States Census Bureau said today that overall retail sales in May were down 1.3% seasonally adjusted from April, but up 28.1% year-on-year. This compares to increases of 0.9% month-over-month and 53.4% year-over-year in April. The year-over-year increases for April and May were unusually high as most stores were closed by the pandemic in those months last year. Despite occasional month-over-month declines, sales have increased year-over-year in every month since June 2020, according to census data.
The calculation of the NRF of retail sales – which excludes car dealers, gas stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed that the month of May was down 1.2% seasonally adjusted from April but up 17.3% unadjusted year-over-year. This compares to a month-over-month decline of 0.6% and a year-over-year increase of 30.9% in April. NRF numbers rose 22.3% year-on-year on a three-month moving average.
Today’s figures come less than a week after the NRF revised its annual retail sales forecast for 2021. This year’s sales are now expected to grow between 10.5% and 13.5% from 2020 to between $ 4.44 trillion and $ 4.56 trillion. Online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, are expected to increase between 18% and 23% to reach between $ 1.09 and $ 1.13 trillion. As with the monthly NRF calculation, the forecast excludes car dealerships, gas stations and restaurants.
May sales fell month-over-month in two-thirds of retail categories, but increased year-over-year in all categories except grocery stores, due generally large increases at retailers such as clothing, electronics and furniture stores ordered to close last spring. The specifics of the main retail sectors include:
- Clothing and clothing accessories stores increased 3% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and 198.7% unadjusted year over year.
- Electronics and appliance stores were down 3.4% month over month, but were up 90.8% year over year.
- Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 2.1% month over month, but were up 64.7% year over year.
- Sporting goods stores were down 0.8% month-over-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 40.9% on a unadjusted year-over-year basis.
- Health and personal care stores were up 1.8 percent month-over-month in seasonally adjusted data and 25.8 percent in unadjusted year-over-year data. other.
- Building material and garden supply stores were down 5.9% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis, but were up 10.1% year on year unadjusted. the other.
- General merchandise stores were down 3.3 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted, but up 9.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Online and other non-store sales were down 0.8% month over month, seasonally adjusted, but were up 8.2% unadjusted year over year.
- Grocery and beverage stores are on the rise 1% month-over-month adjusted for seasonally, but down 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year.