May Retail Sales Beat Expectations

According to a new report from The Commerce Department, May retail sales beat expectations for the second month in a row. U.S. retail sales increased 0.5 percent in May after rising by an unrevised 1.3 percent in April, lifting sales 2.5 percent from 2015. These new numbers point to strong demand suggesting economic growth was gaining steam despite a sharp slowdown in job creation.

May retail sales at clothing stores increased 0.8 percent, the largest gain since November. Online retail sales shot up 1.3 percent. Receipts at sporting goods and hobby stores jumped 1.3 percent last month. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. They were previously reported to have risen 0.9 percent in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast both overall retail and core sales gaining 0.3 percent last month.

The fairly strong May retail sales report could see economists raising their second-quarter GDP growth estimates, which are currently around a 2.5 percent annualized rate. The economy grew at a 0.8 percent rate in the first quarter.

Read the entire Reuters article here for more information.