May US retail sales fell 1.3% as Americans spend less on goodsWednesday, June 16, 2021
NEW YORK, United States (AP) — Retail sales fell in May, dragged down by a decline in auto sales and a shift by Americans to spending more on vacations and other services instead of goods.
Total sales dropped a seasonal adjusted 1.3 per cent in May from the month before, the US Commerce Department said yesterday. Wall Street analysts expected a smaller decline of 0.5 per cent.
Economists expected retail sales to drop last month because of the lack of cars available for sale due to a worldwide shortage of chips, which are needed to power in-car screens and other features. Sales at auto dealerships fell 3.7 per cent last month, according to the Commerce Department.
Another reason for the decrease: As more people become vaccinated and normality returns, Americans are spending more of their money on haircuts, trips, and other services that are not included in Tuesday's report. Sales fell at furniture, electronics, and home-building stores last month.
“Consumer spending growth through the rest of the year will shift to services from goods,” wrote PNC Chief Economist Gus Faucher.
Sales at restaurants rose nearly 2 per cent, according to Tuesday's report. And those seeking a new outfit to go out helped sales at clothing stores rise 3 per cent.
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