Retail sales in US bounce back strongly in May

Retail sales in US bounce back strongly in May

On Thursday, the Commerce Department said that the retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2% after a 0.2% gain in April.

The department said that retail spending was increased by Americans in May. They increased it especially for autos, clothes and building materials. This indicates that that the strong job market finally is starting to bear fruit for the consumer economy.

The increase in shopping indicated greater confidence in an economy, which is still shaking off the ruins of a recession that officially ended six years ago.

In the past year, employers have added more than three million jobs. Many workers are saving as much of their paychecks as they could.

Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets said, "The whole package is looking heartier. Robust job growth, near decade-high auto sales, revolving credit rising at its second-fastest pace in eight years, and now, solid retail sales".

Other data reported on Thursday showed that more Americans require unemployment benefits. However, the figures still pointed to a healthy job market.

The Labor Department said that weekly applications for jobless aid rose to a seasonally adjusted 279,000 applications. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, grew to 278,750 applications, up 3,750.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said that the pace of layoffs is now close to all-time lows as a share of payrolls.

The retail sales report showed that so-called core retail sales excluding the volatile categories of autos, gas, building materials and restaurants, rose a solid 0.7% in May.

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