According to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail
sales dropped in May for the second consecutive month, falling to $404.6
billion. The disappointing figures represent the first time in two years that
sales have fallen in consecutive months, presenting a clear warning for
retailers that the economy could be headed for turbulence.
Monthly retail sales
figures for May were down 0.2 percent from April, but were up 5.3 percent over
last year’s May tally. Retail sales excluding auto sales were down 0.4 percent
over the previous month—the biggest drop in two years.
is clear is that consumers are nervous, and they’re being cautious with their
pocketbooks,” said RILA
President Sandy Kennedy.
Fears of a European-led
global slowdown have shaken the markets in recent months, and American consumers
are clearly keeping a close eye on events which could derail economic growth
here at home. One silver lining for retailers and consumers alike was the drop
in energy prices. A 4.3% drop in energy costs bodes well for wholesale costs
and for consumers during the summer driving season.
retailers are well prepared for any bumps in the road after enduring the
economic shocks of the past few years. The good news for consumers is that
lower wholesales costs and intense competition for sales will continue to
translate into great prices and attractive deals at stores,” concluded
RILA is the trade
association of the world's 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.