Retail Sales Up Nearly 5 Percent from Last Year
Improved consumer confidence and spending helped drive retail sales in May. According to the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, May retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from April and increased a strong 4.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year. "The American consumer continues to drive the U.S. economy," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "In spite of fluctuating gas prices, severe weather in much of the country and fiscal policy uncertainty, consumers continue to demonstrate an inherent resiliency and flexibility.