Retail Sales Surge In May - Biggest Jump In 8 Months

After retail sales growth slowed in April, expectations were for a rebound in May and rebound it did with May headline retail sales surging 0.8% MoM (double the +0.4% expectation) - the biggest jump since Sept 2017.

Absent the storm-driven spike in Sept, this is the biggest MoM spike in retail sales since Jan 2017.

Headline retail sales ran slightly slower than ex-auto sales, based on weakness in unit motor vehicle sales reported at the start of the month, at +0.9% MoM, the best since Nov 2017.

Core Retail Sales surged 0.8% MoM (the most since Nov 2017). Gasoline prices are the highest since 2014, but the price profile year-to-date (up 17%) is not particularly unusual relative to history.

Only 2 of the 13 segments (furniture and sporting goods) saw declines in May...

The only slight negative in the whole report was the slowing growth of the 'Control Group' which rose 0.5% MoM versus a revised +0.6% MoM in April.


spastic_colon Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:38 Permalink

of course....keep this sucker propped until.....lets say.....november....looks like home depot will save the dow today....and yet with all this strength the 10yr remains under 3 f**cking percent

Endgame Napoleon bshirley1968 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:44 Permalink

May is the month that follows April—the tax month—which is very stressful for the self-employed, but for the sex-and-birthing crowd of non-self-employed citizens & noncitizens, their “taxes” mean not only bigger paychecks than the paychecks of single, childless employees and employees with kids over 18, but also huge tax returns, in addition to the welfare access that pays the major household bills, like rent & groceries, of the “poorest” womb producers.

For self-employed citizens, it is not just income tax, but the burden of their twice-as-high SS taxation, that springs to mind when the tax month rolls around, but for the womb productive employees, their up to $6,431 in refundable child tax credit money puts them in a mom-pampering mood in May, especially right before the summer babyvacationing season, when busy-working parents who take an enormous amount of excused time off throughout the year in their “voted best for moms” jobs take even more vacations. 

When rent absorbs more than half of your earned-only income as a single / childless citizen or as a single citizen with grown kids, your paltry pittance of a tax return does not / cannot prompt as many spending sprees. But for the married parents, keeping two jobs with benefits that could support two households under one roof, this year’s tax season means doubled child tax credits from the progressive tax code to spend, spend, spend, thanks to RepubliCONs. 


In reply to by bshirley1968

Hal n back spastic_colon Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:57 Permalink

technically not forever-one day we wake up and the system will have broken overnight.

Gasoline and garden sales were the key performers in May according to the govt.

Now with 10 year below 3% and mortgae rates softer, everything is ok, we can continue to rack up debt. Thank heaven for debt.



CPI from Tuesday? Showed that the last 12 months no inflation in Health Insurance Premium.

In reply to by spastic_colon

RedBaron616 KansasCrude Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:32 Permalink

Eating out is the biggest way to waste money known to man. Obviously, a different story when traveling, but Americans seem to have forgotten how to cook. Food prices aren't bad at all, but I shop at ALDI. I am still amazed with how much food I can leave with for $20 or so. Since ALDI opened, Kroger hasn't seen much of me or my money!

In reply to by KansasCrude

GotAFriendInBen Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

Furniture- becomes discretionary purchase with unaffordable home

Inflatable mattresses, milk crates, and repurposed debris will suffice


Bonus-Milk crate doubles as basket ball hoop


MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

Have to say business is brisk in my area and my wife owns good as it’s been for a long time and the college, high school kids that want to work can for much more then minimum wage...Big number will be inventories coming out at 10 am...

KansasCrude MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:28 Permalink

Ok where do you live?  Not saying there aren't  still pockets of exuberance.   However on balance its still inflation not real growth.  A guy that used to work for me is retired but does part time at Lowes as his wife is still working and he's bored.  Had lunch with him a week or so ago and he told me Lowe's has cut back their Lawn and Garden staff and they are having early sales trying to get rid of excess inventory of plants, trees, pots, etc.  Prices are significantly higher than last year and movement is down.  They started clearance on annuals and other plants early and did not run the aggressive sales over Memorial Day that they typically had.  I manage sales to national and regional restaurant chains.  My biz is good but mainly due to trade down.  Restaurant Chains are seeing trade down on balance.  Folks still want to eat out (not prepare food at home) BUT they are downsizing the experience.  More carryout, more promo discounting, and less frequency at mid scale.  The chains I work with are primarily pizza and burgers.  They are picking up sales with the trade down.  Been in this sector for over 30 years.  Its pretty typical but the big bogey this time is the Debt  load everyone seems to be carrying.  That and the lack/size of salary increases.  No doubt the government is trying to make the numbers look as good as they can.  CONfidence is what they wish to build to bad the debt has a become a boat anchor for to many.  

In reply to by MuffDiver69

aztrader Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

As a online retailer, we have seen a massive slowdown and our variable costs keep rising.  I get 20 plus emails a day from other retailers literally giving stuff away.  No one is making any real margin on anything so no matter what the top end number looks like, there is very little margin on most of the sales.  I found out that Fedex and UPS are only charging Amazon a $5.00 flat rate on deliveries while I am paying $18.00 plus for the same thing.  Add in the USPS subsidy at $2 a package and the fact that Amazon has bought just about every keyword on Google, small businesses can't be found anymore.  What happened to the Anti-trust laws in this country?

rejected Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:10 Permalink

Just tried to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle for cash in Salem Oregon. Since I live a couple thousand miles away I tried to pay using credit card. They would not do it,,, canceled the purchase even after the funds were approved. would not do a bank transfer. Only would do a check or money order. (lol)   Tell me all about this is the 21st century and that digital is taking over.

Retail sales up? BS!