NRF: Consumers Kept Spending In June

Despite continued concerns about the impact of tariffs on prices of consumer products, shoppers started the summer season by opening their wallets.

Figures from the National Retail Federation show retail sales in June increased 2.3% year-over-year. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said that overall June sales— including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants— were up 3.4% unadjusted year-over-year. As of June, the three-month moving average was up 3.7% over the same period a year ago.

“These are impressive results showing that the consumer remains engaged and that consumer spending gave a boost to the economy in the second quarter,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The numbers are consistent with elevated consumer sentiment, healthy household balance sheets, low inflation and wage and job gains. The year-over-year growth is particularly significant given that it comes on top of strong gains at this time last year. While the prospect of tariff increases has subsided for the moment, trade uncertainties continue to weigh on the long-term outlook.”

Highlights from the month include:

• Online and other non-store sales were up 11.6% year-over-year.
• Health and personal care stores were up 3.4% year-over-year.
• General merchandise stores were up 2.3% year-over-year.
• Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 1.7% year-over-year.
• Electronics and appliance stores were down 5.8% year-over-year.