US retail sales were up more than expected in May

Retail Sales

Retail sales in the US jumped more than expected in May. Sales were helped along by automobile sales and a range of other goods. The increase in sales arrived despite a sharp slowdown in job creation.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales increased 0.5% last month after surging by an unrevised 1.3% in April. It was the second straight month of gains and lifted sales 2.5% from a year ago.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rose a surprising 0.4% last month after an upwardly revised 1.0% increase in April.

The May retail sales report could see economists raising their second-quarter GDP growth estimates, which are currently around a 2.5% annualized rate.

In May, auto sales rose 0.5% compared to a 3.1% gain in April.

Sales at clothing stores increased 0.8%, the largest single month increase since November.

Sporting goods and hobby stores also saw sales increase by 1.3% last month. Restaurants and bars sales climbed 0.8%.