June Retail Sales

Retail sales jumped +0.6% in June, but there was little else in this report from the Department of Commerce to get excited about. Year-over-year the figure is still quite negative, down -9.0%, as the consumer retrenches. Further, when we look at core retail sales (the total after eliminating motor vehicle and gasoline sales), we find they actually dropped -0.2%. A detailed examination of the components making up this report suggests some interesting trends. For instance, restaurants saw a decline in sales. Electronics, sporting goods, and book stores saw a rise. Are folks eating at home more often, reading, playing video games, or actually going out and getting some exercise? Is the family starting to get reintroduced? It’s too soon to say, but what a dramatic shift that would be!