Gas Prices Don't Slow Spending
July 21st, 2006
Despite rising gas prices that show now sign of slowing down anytime soon, retail industry sales rose 8.2 percent in May, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Even with low consumer confidence, high gas prices and questionable interest rates, consumers continued to spend this last year,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “A housing market plateau and possible inflation will prove to be the deciding factor the remainder of the year.”
May retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 7.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year and a 0.1 percent increase from the previous month. Figures were also revised to show March to April sales with a slight increase from initial reports of 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent.