Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The US Consumer is Hard to Keep Down

Retail sales in the U.S. increased by 1.4% in May compared to April, Bloomberg.

. . . . The increase in sales was the biggest since January 2006. All 13 categories tracked by the government showed an improvement in sales last month, led by a 3.8 percent jump at service stations as gasoline prices rose.

The increase in fuel costs didn't deter Americans from going to the malls and auto dealers. Sales excluding gasoline rose 1.2 percent, the most since July.

Vehicle sales rose 1.8 percent, the must since July, and purchases at department stores surged 1.3 percent, the most since October 2005.

Even housing-related purchases showed gains. Sales at building-materials and garden-supply stores rose 2.1 percent.

Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, the retail group the government uses to calculate GDP figures for consumer spending, sales rose 0.8 percent, after a 0.1 percent gain in April.

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