US retail sales growth blew past expectations in May, primarily due to increased sales at gas stations, home centers, restaurants, and clothing stores. This rise further indicates a shift towards stronger economic growth.
According to the report released by the Commerce Department, overall sales jumped 0.8% from April 2018 to $502 billion, marking the highest increase since November 2017. Meanwhile, in the past one year, retail sales jumped as much as 5.9%. Sales growth in April was revised to 0.4% from 0.2%, to reflect the changes in the way the government calculates the figures.
After a sluggish first quarter, growth in consumer spending is now expected to lift the economy. For April-June, analysts expect growth rate to touch 4.6%, an increase of 2.2% from first quarter.
In May, auto sales witnessed 0.5% growth and made up for one-fifth of the total retail spending. Sales at gas stations rose 2%, and home and garden sales rose 2.4%. Strong sales were also seen at restaurants and clothing stores, each of which recorded 1.3% improvement.
Sales at building material stores offset its 0.8% fall in April with a 2.4% growth in the month of May. The next report will be published on July 16, 2018.