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U.S. Retail Sales Growth Misses Estimates In May After Upward Revision To April

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While the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing weaker than expected retail sales growth in the month of May, the report also showed a notable upward revision to the pace of sales growth in April.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in May, while economists had been expecting sales to climb by about 0.6 percent.

At the same time, the report said sales climbed by an upwardly revised 0.5 percent in April compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the month.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at the Lindsey Group, said, "Bottom line, the May miss relative to expectations was offset by the revision higher in April, thus leaving Q2 GDP estimates the same."

The modest retail sales growth in May was partly due to a jump in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which surged up by 1.4 percent in May after climbing by 0.9 percent in April.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales edged up by just 0.1 percent in May compared to a 0.4 percent increase in April. Ex-auto sales were originally reported as unchanged in the previous month.

The report also showed notable increases in sales by miscellaneous store retailers and building materials and supplies dealers.

On the other hand, sales by department stores tumbled by 1.4 percent in May after jumping by 1.9 percent in April. Sales by clothing and accessories stores also pulled back after surging higher in the previous month.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, and building materials, were unchanged in May.

However, core sales in April were upwardly revised to show a 0.2 percent increase compared to the previously reported 0.1 percent drop.

The Commerce Department noted that total retail sales in the month of May were up by 4.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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