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Census Bureau: Home-Related Gains Highlight Sluggish June Sales

Overall sales slipped in June but retailers focused on home-oriented merchandise had relatively strong sales, according to the United States Census Bureau.

In its advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, the Census Bureau reported that sales were down 0.2% from May but up 2.8% from the same month in 2016. Broken out, retail trade sales slipped 0.1% from May but gained 3% from June a year previous. Non-store retailers, with e-tailers prominent among them, saw sales gain 0.4% from May and 9.2% from June 2016.

Furniture and home furnishings store sales advanced 0.1% from May and 2.5% from June 2016 while building material and garden equipment and supply dealers gained 0.5% and 5.1% in the periods respectively. Health and beauty care stores saw a 0.3% sales gain from May and an equal gain from June 2016. General merchandise store sales increased 0.4% from May and 1.7% from June 2016 but the department stores sector covered under the category slid 0.7% month over month and 3.9% year over year.

The other Census Bureau category that saw month-to-month sales gains was electronics and appliance stores, up 0.1% from May and 0.8% from June of last year. Food and beverage store sales were down 0.4% from May but up 1.8% from June 2016. Clothing and clothing accessories stores sales were down 0.1% from May but up 0.3% from June of last year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales were down 0.6% from May and down 8.9% from June 2016. Miscellaneous store retailers sales were down 3.1% from May but up 0.4% from June of last year.