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Economy in Brief

U.S. June Retail Sales Fell After Huge Gain in May
by Tom Moeller July 13, 2007

In June, US retail sales fell 0.9% after a 1.5% gain during May that was revised from 1.4%. The figure for last month fell short of Consensus expectations for a modest 0.1% rise.

Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.4% but a revised 1.6% rise during May was initially reported as up 1.3%.Expectations were for a 0.2% increase.

Nonauto retail sales less gasoline fell 0.3% (+4.6% y/y) last month after a revised 1.3% spurt during May, initially reported at up 1.0%.

Sales by motor vehicle & parts dealers fell 2.9% (+2.0% y/y), even though new unit vehicle sales fell 3.5% m/m

Gasoline service station sales fell 1.1% after a 4.1% surge during May which reflected a 10.6% ruse in gas prices at the pump which then fell 2.9% during June to an average $3.06 per gallon (5.9% y/y).

Sales of discretionary items were generally firm last month. Sales at general merchandise stores added 0.3% (4.8% y/y) after an upwardly revised 1.0% May increase.Apparel store sales fell 1.4% (+4.8% y/y) after a 2.5% spurt during May. Furniture, home furnishings & appliance stores posted one of weakest showings last month with a 2.2% (-0.1% y/y) decline after a modest 0.7% May rise.

Building material sales fell 2.3%% (-0.1% y/y). Sales of nonstore retailers (internet & catalogue) rose 1.2% (9.5% y/y) but restaurant and bar sales rose only 0.1% (5.9% y/y) after a 0.6% May increase

How Worrisome Is a Negative Saving Rate? From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here.

  June May Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Retail Sales & Food Services -0.9% 1.5% 3.8% 6.2% 6.6% 6.1%
  Excluding Autos -0.4% 1.6% 4.2% 7.3% 7.6% 7.1%
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