Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores were lower than April but higher than May last year

Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores were lower than April but higher than May last year

Despite ongoing hopes of positive growth for US retail sales during the rest of the year, performance during May was "disappointing" and weaker than expected, the latest data shows.

According to the latest figures from the Commerce Department, which include cars, gasoline and restaurants, May retail sales climbed 0.4% from April, and were up 4.3% year-on-year.

But sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores edged down 0.6% month-on-month, and increased 1.4% year-on-year.

Sales at general merchandise stores slipped 0.6% from April, but climbed 0.9% on May last year. Department stores reported a 1.4% fall in sales month-on-month, and a 2% drop year-on-year.

For sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, sales were 0.09% lower than April, and 1.5% below May last year.

Separate figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF), which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, showed retail sales were unchanged from April, but grew 3% unadjusted year-on-year.

"On the surface, May retail sales were disappointing and weaker than expected; however April's upward revisions still indicate positive growth for the remainder of the year," said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz.

"The economic fundamentals - consumer confidence, employment and income - remain strong."