Headline retail sales beat economists’ expectations in May, rising +0.8 month-over month. In addition to the better-than-expected May figure, April headline retail sales were revised higher to a +0.4% month-over-month increase from an original +0.3% increase.
Headline retail sales were up +5.9% year-over-year as of May, up from +4.8% growth in April. Year-over-year growth has now been at or above +3.0% for 21 consecutive months.
Core retail sales increased +0.5% month-over-month in May, also above economists’ estimates. Year-over-year core retail sales growth was +5.0%, up from April’s +4.4% year-over-year growth.
May’s retail sales data indicates that consumer spending remains very healthy and strength has been sustained from a strong finish in Q1 into Q2. The +5.0% year-over-year growth in core retail sales is greater than the average +3.7% since the beginning of 2010.
Retail sales gains were broad-based in in May’s report. In fact, only three categories did not see positive growth in May including furniture stores (-2.4% month-over-month), sporting goods stores (-1.1% month-over-month) and food and beverage stores (unchanged month-over-month).
Spending at non-store retailers, which consists largely of e-commerce sales, rose +0.1% month-over-month in May and non-store retailers now make up ~20% of core retail sales. Non-store retailer sales were up +9.1% year-over-year in May.