Retail sales data for June was reported on Thursday, handily beating expectations for the second consecutive month. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, June saw a 7.5% increase month over month, compared with Bloomberg’s consensus expectations for a 5% gain. This comes on the heels of a more than 18% gain in May, but also following by far the lowest reading ever, a 14.7% decline in April.
Pent-up demand and the continued easing of lockdowns during June likely contributed to the large increase, which saw sales rise across most categories. Sales spiked 8.2% at auto dealers, but even sales excluding autos and gas rose 6.7%. Clothing store sales more than doubled (+105.1%) while sales in the hard-hit food services and drinking places climbed 20%.
“Consumer spending is still far below pre-pandemic levels and many of the real-time data we are monitoring have begun to level off in the past month,” said LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “We remain encouraged by the strong rebound in May and June, but would expect more gradual gains for retail sales in the second half of the year.”
For more insights into the real-time data we are monitoring, check out our blog post from earlier in the week.
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