Retailers felt the benefit of further loosening of consumers’ purse strings in May as 11 of 13 major categories registered advancing sales. Only healthcare and personal care spending experienced a setback following two consecutive monthly advances, while spending on goods in the miscellaneous category was unchanged.
The slowdown in purchases followed a 0.2% advance in June, the Commerce Department reported today. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2% gain. Excluding cars, sales rose 0.1%.
More favorable views of current conditions and the outlook show consumers are taking higher prices at grocery stores and gas stations in stride, indicating gains in household purchases will be sustained.
Japan growth misses the mark as its GDP came in at a disappointing 2.6%. This comes after oil rejected breaking out to the downside on the heels of terror threats to oil out of Yemen and embassy closings as well as strong data out of China.