According to data released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales of clothing and clothing accessories in the United States in June fell by a seasonally adjusted monthly decrease of 0.4%, and an unadjusted annual increase of 0.2%. Overall U.S. retail sales rose even as inflation climbed and pushed prices up across the board. On a seasonally adjusted basis, overall retail sales in June were up 1% from May and up 8.4% from a year earlier.
Total online and other non-physical sales channels increased by 2.2% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis and an unadjusted 9.6% annual rate. (The NRF does not count sales at auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants.) Retail sales showed a 0.6% increase in June from May, and an unadjusted 5.8% year-over-year increase. In May, sales fell 0.3% month-on-month but rose 6.3% year-over-year. On a 3-month floating average basis, as of June, unadjusted figures were up 5.8% year-on-year, and sales for the first six months of the year were up 7% year-on-year.
Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, said that retail sales data for June showed that despite rising prices and the Federal Reserve actively raising interest rates in response to rising prices, consumers still have money on hand and are willing to spend. Inflation has changed the shopping habits of consumers, who are now thinking more about necessities like food, fuel and back-to-school supplies.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said inflation remains a huge challenge for consumers trying to make ends meet, and even if high inflation improves over the next few months, the impact will remain. But fortunately, consumers will not be able to make ends meet and continue to consume.
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