May Retail Sales Declined 0.3% from April, Up 8.1% YOY

Washington, DC, June 15, 2022-Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May 2022 were $672.9 billion, a decrease of 0.3% from the previous month but 8.1% above May 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Total sales for the March 2022 through May 2022 period were up 7.7% from the same period a year ago. The March 2022 to April 2022 percent change was revised from up 0.9% to up 0.7%.

Retail trade sales were down 0.4% from April 2022 but up 6.9% above last year. Gasoline stations were up 43.2% from May 2021, while food services and drinking places were up 17.5% from last year.

“Americans’ retail spending slowed to a crawl in May, economists estimate, as consumers felt the pinch from inflation, higher gasoline prices and rising interest rates that make it more expensive to buy a car,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Expected weak vehicle sales-due to high prices, low inventory and rising interest on car loans-likely played a large role in the stagnation in month-over-month retail spending, economists said. Excluding autos, forecasters predict the report to show retail sales rose a more robust 0.8% last month.

“Interest rates look set to rise further, a potential damper on consumer spending in the months ahead as car loans and credit-card debt get more expensive. Later Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is set to wrap up a two-day policy meeting. A string of troubling inflation reports in recent days is likely to lead Fed officials to consider surprising markets with a larger-than-expected 0.75-percentage-point interest-rate increase.”

Related Topics:U.S. Census Bureau