The Urethane Blog

Strong Retail Sales in May

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.