US clothing retailers saw sales slide by 0.4% month-on-month in June, according to data released by the US Census Bureau. Sales were down by 0.2% compared to the same period a year ago.

Overall retail sales in June were up 1% seasonally adjusted from May and up 8.4% year over year. That compared with a 0.1% month-over-month decrease and 8.2% year-over-year increase in May.

“June retail sales data shows that consumers remain on solid footing despite rising prices and an active Fed raising interest rates to combat it,” National Retail Federation (NRF) president and CEO Matthew Shay says. “Inflation has consumers modifying their spending behaviour and prioritising essentials like food, energy and back-to-school items. Unfortunately, modified consumer behavior won’t be sufficient to offset persistent price increases. Other policy measures like removing China tariffs, enacting smart immigration reforms and investing in supply chain resiliency are needed to lower costs for American families and put much-needed dollars back into their pockets.”

NRF chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz, adds: “June’s numbers show consumers are powering through price pressures, but inflation is eating away at savings built up during the pandemic and is wiping out recent income gains. Inflation remains a challenge to consumers trying to make ends meet and will continue to be an issue even if it cools down in the months ahead. Despite that, consumers are holding up notably well and continuing to spend.”

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed June was up 0.6% from May and up 5.8% unadjusted year over year. In May, sales were down 0.3% month over month but up 6.3% year over year.

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By GlobalData

NRF’s numbers were up 5.8% unadjusted year over year on a three-month moving average as of June. Sales were up 7% year over year for the first six months of the year.

June sales were up in all but two retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales at 2.2% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 9.6% unadjusted year over year.

US clothing and clothing accessory store sales were down 0.4% month over month seasonally adjusted but up 0.2% unadjusted year over year.

Last week, the US clothing industry told Just Style an end to Section 301 Tariffs is the solution to rising US inflation levels as official June figures reveal overall inflation is up 9.1% versus last year with apparel increasing 5.2%.