WASHINGTON-With consumers remaining cautious about their spending, U.S. retail sales in June were up 0.4 percent from May and 5.7 percent from June of last year, totaling $422.8 billion.
Among the channels that sell home products, sales at furniture and home furnishings stores rose 2.4 percent over May and 4.6 percent over June 2012. General merchandise stores saw sales crawl 0.1 percent of May and 1.1 percent over last year’s June. Sales at department stores (excluding leased departments) were down 1 percent from May and 5.1 percent from June 2012.
According to the National Retail Federation, the June sales performance indicated consumers were wary because of the weakness of economic growth. “Even though healthy home prices and stock values are helping to improve confidence and spending, stagnantly high unemployment, higher taxes and lingering policy uncertainty continue to keep shoppers and economic growth at bay,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.
NRF also said it expects a “reserved” consumer outlook down the road. “U.S. households have adjusted their spending to a slow-growth economy,” said Jack Kleinhenz, the association’s chief economist. “With employment and consumer confidence improving, we expect that the second half will be better than the first.”