Economy

Economic Data Roundup (06/14/2018)

6/14/18 12:00 PM

iStock-119520974.jpgA new report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that advance estimates of retail and food services sales in May totaled $502.0 billion. That was a 0.8 percent increase from April’s upward-revised print, the fourth monthly gain in a row, and significantly better than expected. “Core” retail sales, which exclude the volatile automobile and gasoline components, also increased by 0.8 percent in May, double the gain economists anticipated.

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More importantly, the sales gains were broad-based last month, with 10 of the 13 major retail categories showing increases in May, including notable strength seen at clothing stores and building-materials vendors. Altogether, this was an encouraging report that suggests consumer spending this quarter is continuing to rebound following Q1’s post-holiday slump. Higher gasoline prices could be a problem down the road but for now larger tax refunds and rising wages have helped offset this potential headwind.

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Sources: Econoday, U.S. Census Bureau, Bloomberg, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch