PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Retail Sales: The Positive Streak Continues

By at 16 July, 2019, 1:23 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

After a weak stretch from August 2018 to February 2019, retail sales in June 2019 continued a recent streak of growth.

As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food services sales grew by 0.4 in June. That followed growth of 0.4 percent in both April and May, and marks the fourth month in a row of solid growth.

As noted in the following two charts, retail sales actually declined in five of the seven months running from August to February. Those poor retail sales data were reflected in sluggish personal consumption expenditure numbers in the GDP data.

Chart 1: Advance Retail Sales: Retail and Food Services, June 2018 to June 2019 (Millions of Dollars)

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

 

Chart 2: Advance Retail Sales: Retail and Food Services, June 2018 to June 2019 – Monthly Percent Change

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

 

This recovery in retail sales lines up with strong labor market gains, and should work as a plus in the second-quarter GDP numbers.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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