Friday, June 11, 2010

Retail Sales Fall 1.2 Percent – Led By Large Drop Off at Building Supplies Stores

In May, retail sales dropped 1.2% following a rise of 0.6% in April. This large drop came after seven months of increases, including a very strong gain in March. Though the sales report is certainly weak, details are more positive. The index was driven down in part due to a large fall off of 9.3% at building supply stores. This decline followed two strong months of sales growth of over 8% each. This volatility was likely due to the homebuyer tax credit expiring in April. This caused a surge in sales along with the increase in home sales and then a corresponding fall back.

In contrast, about half of major retail subsectors showed sales growth over the quarter. Core sales, which do not include the volatile autos and gasoline components, fell by 0.8%.

From a year prior, sales were up 6.9%, down from 9.0% in April. Core sales, were up 4.4% from a year earlier, down from 5.3% in April.

Source: Census Bureau

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