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MNI DATA BRIEF: US Retail Sales Plummet in May

MNI (Washington)

U.S. retail sales growth stumbled again in May, falling 1.3% when financial markets had forecast a much smaller decline of 0.6%, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. April's flat reading was revised up to a 0.9% gain. May's decrease was led by a 5.9% decline in sales at building material stores following a stronger 4.3% increase in April. Other notable declines came from sales at miscellaneous stores (-5%), motor vehicle and parts dealers (-3.7%), electronics and appliance stores (-3.4%), and general merchandise stores (-3.3%).

Meanwhile, sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores grew significantly through the month, rising 3% after falling 2% in April. Restaurant sales were also strong through May, increasing 1.8%, as were grocery store sales, which increased 1.2% following a 0.9% gain in April. Sales at gas stations were up 1.3% in May, much stronger than April's 0.4% gain.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales were down 0.7% in May. Excluding motor vehicle and gas station sales, retail sales were down 0.8%. Control group sales were down 0.3% following a 0.3% increase in April.

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |

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