June 11, 2009

Weak retail rises in May

U.S. retail sales rose modestly in May, climbing slightly higher than experts predicted, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Sales for food services and retail climbed 0.5 percent in the month compared to April, coming in at $340 billion, the report said. Economists had predicted a rise of 0.4 percent.

The report includes advance figures, subject to revision at a later date.

In the month, retail sales climbed 0.5 percent compared to April, although retail figures are 10.8 lower than a year ago.

Compared to May 2008, gasoline station sales have fallen 33.8 percent, while sales in the automobile sector have dropped 19.6 percent.

Grocery store sales have risen 0.1 percent from a year ago, while electronic store purchases have fallen 13 percent over the same period.

Clothing store sales have fallen 7 percent since May 2008. Furniture and home furnishing sales are down 14.7 percent from a year ago.