Americans are spending more on retail goods despite inflation, with sales rising 0.3% in May, according to the latest data from the Commerce Department.
Digging deeper: Excluding motor vehicles and gas, retail sales increased even more—by 0.4%.
- Spending has been strong through all of 2023 so far, with a rise of 1.9% since the beginning of the year (1.8% without motor vehicles and gasoline station sales).
Since last year . . . Retail sales have risen 1.6% on a yearly basis, showing that a strong labor market and savings built up over the pandemic are still powering consumer spending.
What sellers say: “In recent months, many retailers said shoppers cut spending on discretionary items, such as home goods, but continue to spend on staples. Spending is also shifting to services, such as travel,” according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).