This morning retail sales for May were reported up +0.5%, and April was revised upward by a net +0.5% as well. Since consumer inflation increased by +0.4% over that two month period, real retail sales have risen +0.6% in the past two months. For the past two months I have noted that sales were still slightly below their peak last November, and YoY real sales remained in a downshift. This morning’s report helps those comparisons substantially, as YoY real retail sales are now up +1.4%.
Here is what the last five years look like:
Real retail sales turned flat for about a year before both of the last two recessions. Even with this morning’s positive revisions, since late last year we’ve hit the biggest soft patch since 2013.