June’s retail sales came in higher than expected at .5% growth but that was not the impressive news out for this report. It was good news, but the surprise was the revision for May’s number. The initial report for May was .8% growth; a number that all experts would agree was very strong. However, in June’s report that number was revised up to 1.3%.
Retail sales have increased over the past 12 months by 6.6% and that is slightly above the long term average since 1908. So though in the last couple months numbers are improving, reality is that sales are healthy and not entering the sphere of too fast and unsustainable.
A significant cause of the increase and revision was the price of gas at the pumps. Every consumer has seen it jump in recent months and that can provide a sense of increased spending but not necessarily good spending. Still consumers did indeed spread out their purchases in a variety of goods and services.
What this means is that the economy is healthy and consumers, despite higher prices at the pump, are willing and able to spend on other things. As the driver of our economy we all need to cheer the consumer along.