U.S. retail sales ease as spending swivels to services
The United States monitored a contraction in its retail sales in May, plunging more than what was expected as spending rotated to the services sector. This was owed mainly to rapid vaccine rollouts, which boosted the country’s travel and tourism sectors.
Retail sales recorded a 1.3% decline in May, but they still posted an annualized expansion of 28.1%. With April data put under revision, retail sales had increased a total of 0.9% on a monthly basis. The report covered spending on goods, with restaurants and bars the only category included.
The coronavirus pandemic sent electronics and motor vehicles spending to high levels as millions of people engaged in remote work, switched to online classes, and avoided public transportation. But with rapid vaccine rollouts, spending then shifted to air travel, hotel accommodation, dining, and entertainment.