According to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail sales dipped in June making it the first time since 2008 that sales fell for three consecutive months and raising concerns about continued weakness in the economy, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
Monthly retail sales figures for June totaled $401.5 billion, a drop of 0.5 percent from the previous month, but up 3.8 percent from June 2011.
“High unemployment, persistent global economic headwinds and heightened uncertainty continue to undermine consumer confidence,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy.
“While leading retailers have successfully risen above these circumstances and continue to remain strong, the ongoing challenges remain great. Washington can help by enacting policies that will give clarity and certainty to businesses, freeing them up to invest and grow,” concluded Kennedy.
Retailers remain concerned about issues such as the long-awaited health care implementation regulations. With less than a year and a half until the 2014 effective date, employers remain in the dark about the enormous changes that regulators will expect them to make to their employee health benefits. This gives them limited time to plan for implementation of the Affordable Care Act by 2014 and puts jobs and employer-sponsored health care at risk. They are also faced with unprecedented implications from the NLRB’s job-killing decision on micro-unions, that will cause division within the retail workforce leading to conflicts and complexities that will undermine retailers’ ability to grow and create jobs.
RILA is the trade association of the worlds’ largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.