Logistics business: June retail sales down slightly, according to Commerce and NRF

As was the case in May, retail sales were down slightly in June but were up year-over-year, according to data released by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation.

By ·

As was the case in May, retail sales were down slightly in June but were up year-over-year, according to data released by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation.

June retail sales, which include non-general merchandise like automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants, at $360.2 billion, were down 0.5 percent from May and up 4.8 percent year-over-year, and total retail sales from April through June were up 6.8 percent year-over-year, according to the Department of Commerce.

The NRF reported that June retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) also dipped 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted compared to May and were up 4.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Moderate growth these last few months proves that consumer uncertainty remains,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. “A slow- growing economy and high unemployment rates will continue to hinder consumers’ decisions to spend on discretionary items.”

Relatively flat growth from May to June does not come as a huge surprise, given other recent economic reports and analyses that suggest the economic green shoots from the first half of 2010 may be subsiding somewhat.

Some of these recent indicators include: continued high levels of unemployment; a drop in the Consumer Confidence Index from 62.7 percent in May to 52.9 percent in June; and a 10 percent dip in May housing starts, among others.

Despite these signs, freight transportation volumes remain solid overall, especially when compared to a challenging 2009. One driver for this is due to manufacturers and retailers slowly building up inventories after deliberately keeping them low for months to better match up with low demand levels during the recession.

“We are still fairly positive about things in general in terms of the recovery happening, but there will be fits and starts,” said Eric Starks, president of freight transportation forecast consultancy FTR Associates. “That is what we are seeing now.”

A “wait and see” approach to the economy is going to be required over the coming months, said Starks, with a better idea of where things likely stand possible in September. Whether the recent downward indicators are truly an indication of things to come—or lead to a double-dip recession of some sort—is still to be determined, he said.

And things like a fluctuating stock market, coupled with economic unrest in Europe, do little to help with overall economic confidence as well, noted Starks.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Case Study: LEAN Yields Big Results
Every day, companies across a wide range of industries use LEAN in their supply chains, warehouses and distribution centers, finance departments, and customer service centers, among other areas. LEAN practices improve safety, quality, and productivity by extracting cost and waste from all facets of an operation – from the procurement of raw materials to the shipment of finished goods.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...