U.S Retail Sales Rose by 0.6% in May – June Report

Retails and foods services sales slightly rose again for the sixth time in seven months; the index increased during May 2013 by 0.6% compared with April’s sales and also remained above the sales at May 2012.


The U.S. Department of Commerce (pdf file) published yesterday its monthly report on the changes in the U.S. retail and food sales for May 2013.

This report adjusts for seasonal variances and holidays but doesn’t control for price changes. In May, the U.S. retail and food sales reached $421.1 billion, which are 0.6% higher than the sales in April and 4.3% higher than in May 2012. This gain in retail sales might have slightly contributed to the modest gain in stocks at the end of the week. On the other hand, gasoline stations sales slipped by 0.2% in May compared to April and 1.6% below the sales in May 2012. This means the U.S demand for retail gas is falling; it also means demand for energy commodities is declining. This news may have also drag down the prices of oil.

If the demand for gasoline will continue to contract, it could signal a drop in demand for oil in the U.S and thus may pressure down the price of crude oil. On the other hand, the recent moderate increase in the retail sales might suggest the U.S economy continues to improve.

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