US Retail Sales Upbeat in June
US retail sales rose in June as the economy continued to reopen and consumers were eager to go out and shop, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.
Revenue grew 0.6% month on month and jumped 18% compared to the same period last year, according to data the US Census Bureau reported last week.
“We’re continuing to see an impressive recovery,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The economy and consumption are particularly sensitive to government policy, and the boost we saw from government support earlier in the year is continuing to show benefits. Reopening of both stores and the overall economy has progressed.”
Customer spending has increased despite higher prices in some retail categories brought on by supply-chain disruptions that have created a backup in retail orders.
“The year-over-year growth we saw this spring was off the charts because the comparisons were against a time when most stores were shut down due to the pandemic,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “But we’re continuing to see strong growth even as we enter a point when stores had begun to reopen last year. That’s a sign of the tremendous demand from consumers. The challenge for retailers and supply chains is keeping shelves stocked as port congestion and other supply-chain disruptions continue to impact the industry and the economy more broadly.”
In June, sales increased year on year in all nine of the categories the US Census Bureau monitors. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — was up 49%. Revenues for the category also rose 2.6% versus May. Additionally, June sales received a lift from the annual Amazon Prime Day promotion, the NRF noted.
For the first six months of the year, sales were up 16% versus 2020, consistent with the NRF’s forecast that retail sales will grow 10.5% to 13.5% this year to between $4.44 trillion and $4.56 trillion.
As more consumers get vaccinated and get back to normal life, growth will slow, with some shifting to services rather than retail, the NRF said. However, spending on retail should remain strong, as the momentum will be enough to support both, it added.