Economy Watch: Retail Sales See Healthy Increase in June

June was a good month for the U.S. economy, with it not only seeing increased job creation but also a decent increase in retail sales for most sectors.
Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Percent Change in Retail and Food Services Sales, June 2016 (Estimates adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes)

Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Percent Change in Retail and Food Services Sales, June 2016 (Estimates adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes)

The American economy not only created more jobs in June than expected, it inspired a decent increase in U.S. retail sales, with the Census Bureau reporting on Friday than overall sales were up for the month by 0.6 percent. Factoring out car sales, the increase was even more: 0.7 percent. Compared with June 2015, retail sales were up 2.7 percent.

Car sales, which have been one of the strong points of all retail sales in recent years, didn’t have such a strong June. That category eked out a gain for the month of only 0.1 percent. For the year, the rate is slowing down as well, with sales up 1 percent.

Other categories of retail sales made up for the sluggishness among car sales, however. For instance, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers had a very good month, with sales up 3.9 percent; for the year, their increase was 7.6 percent. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores enjoyed an 0.8 percent gain for the month (6.8 percent for the year), and food and beverage sales were up 0.5 percent monthly and 2.7 percent annually.

Electronics and appliances stores saw no gain nor loss for the month, with sales down 4.7 percent for the year, with its business being gnawed away by online sales. Department stores—a long-term loser of sales—managed to see a gain of 0.7 percent for the month, but a loss of 3.7 percent for the year. Non-store (internet) sales continued on their merry way, gaining 1.1 percent for the month and 14.2 percent for the year.