clear
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 6:57AM

Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. retail sales rose modestly in May as consumers turned cautious in their spending. <br /> <br /> Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May, helped by a jump in demand for autos, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The result follows a 0.5 percent climb in April, which was revised up from an initial estimate of 0.1 percent. March sales surged 1.5 percent - the biggest one-month gain in four years.<br /> <br /> Analysts said any disappointment in May was offset by the change in April's figure.<br /> <br /> "May retail sales fell short of estimates, although upward revisions to April make it about a wash versus consensus forecasts," said Jay Feldman, director of U.S. Economics Research at Credit Suisse.<br /> <br /> Retail sales had fallen sharply in January as winter storms cut into shopping and various other types of economic activity. Overall economic growth went into reverse in the first quarter, shrinking at an annual rate of 1 percent. But the revival in consumer spending has led economists to predict a solid rebound to 3 percent growth or better in the current April-June quarter.<br /> <br /> For May, auto sales increased 1.4 percent. The rise in auto sales had been expected after dealers reported last week that sales in May jumped to a nine-year high, helped by brisk demand for SUVs and pickup trucks. But sectors outside of autos did not fare as well.<br /> <br /> Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that the declines at department stores and appliance stores was hard to understand, given the rapid rise in employment. Households are also are feeling wealthier with the strong gains in the stock market and in home prices.<br /> <br /> "We expect it won't be long before sales start rising more rapidly," Dales said in a research note. "Overall, the fundamentals suggest that the U.S. economy remains healthy."<br /> <br /> Sales at hardware stores and furniture stores increased, but department store sales fell 1.4 percent. A broader category that includes department stores and big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Target saw sales fall 0.6 percent.<br /> <br /> Sales were also down at specialty clothing stores and electronics stores but posted a solid gain of 0.6 percent in the category that includes Internet shopping.<br /> <br /> Many economists are forecasting that overall economic growth will remain at a solid 3 percent level in the second half of the year.<br /> <br /> Part of the optimism reflects expectations that employers will keep increasing their hiring, with extra jobs boosting incomes and supporting stronger consumer spending.<br /> <br /> The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, the fourth straight month of a gain of more than 200,000, something that hasn't happened since 1999. The unemployment rate remained unchanged in May at 6.3 percent, the lowest in more than five years.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Dust Explosion at Pilgrims Pride
A dust explosion caused significant damage at Pilgrim's Pride facility Saturday evening
10:51PM ( 8 hours ago )
Car crashes into Suwanee apartment complex
Residents from five units of a Suwanee apartment complex are being moved temporarily after a car crashed into their building.
9:17PM ( 9 hours ago )
VIDEO: Botanical Garden welcomes first visitors
The new Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville welcomed its first visitors Saturday on 168 acres of land just north of town on U.S. Highway 129.
By Jerry Gunn
2:28PM ( 16 hours ago )
Deal to sign transportation funding bill on Monday
Governor Nathan Deal will sign HB 170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, at a ceremony at the State Capitol on Monday.
1:00PM ( 17 hours ago )
AAA monthly fuel report: drivers pay highest gas prices of the year
While prices remain below $3 per gallon across most of the country, American drivers paid the highest gas prices of the year in the month of April.
By AccessWDUN staff
12:00PM ( 18 hours ago )