June retail sales continued to rise in a strong economy, keeping 2018 on track to grow between 3.8 and 4.4 percent.
June’s retail sales increased 0.07 percent seasonally adjusted from May and increased 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year despite the U.S. trade war with China and other countries, according to the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“This is a healthy retail sales report and consistent with underlying economic momentum that has fueled a steady run of retail sales increases,” National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
The U.S. Census Bureau, where the National Retail Federation got the data, said overall June sales, including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants, were up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from May and up 6.6 percent year-over-year.
“The big question is whether households can continue this spending pace, which is helping drive the current economic cycle,” Kleinhenz said. “We think they can, but the big risk to the outlook is the trade war, which could raise prices while reducing consumer confidence and household buying power.”
Coming at no surprise, the increase in retail sales was driven by ecommerce. Online and non-store sales were up 7.3 percent year-over-year. Other top growing categories include health and personal care stores, clothing and accessory shops, furniture stores and grocery stores.