After two months of growth fueled in part by stimulus payments, retail sales cooled off in May, falling 1.3% and missing analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg of a 0.8% gain, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday.
But the drop in sales is likely more noise than signal as the economy ramps up. The three-month annualized pace of retail sales remains strong and overall retail spending is close to pre-pandemic levels. April’s figure, initially reported as flat, was revised up to show a gain of 0.9%.
As the country moves into summer, a shift away from goods to services as the country will most likely continue in the short term.
The largest declines were in vehicle and parts, and in building materials. The largest gains were in clothing stores, and in eating and drinking establishments.
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