Retail Sales Fell Last Month. But Stores Are Still Expecting A Strong Year

U.S. retail sales fell 1.3% in May as the sector continues to come down from the stimulus-fueled high of recent months. The last round of stimulus checks from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress in March boosted consumer spending in the early spring months. But the sugar rush has worn off. Sales numbers for April, which were initially reported as flat, were revised up to 0.9% growth. The culprit dragging the May sales down was autos, with car sales declining 3.7%, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Stripping them out entirely, retail sales fell by 0.7% last month. The data are tracking vehicle sales data, which showed a 16-year high at 18.8 million cars sold in April, but a slowdown in May, according to Action Economics’ market economist Benjamin Engen citing data from the National Automobile Dealers Association. May retail sales were still 28% higher than they were last year when many non-essential stores were closed. Read more at CNN Business.