June 14, 2001
Retail Sales Increase Slightly in May
Retail sales rose 0.1% in May according to the U.S. Commerce Department, proving that consumers are still spending despite grim economic forecasts and the weakening labor market. Sales grew 1.4% in April; the growth was originally estimated at 0.8%, but was revised by the Commerce Department later.
Retail sales increased at a 4.8% annual rate in the first two months of the second quarter, down from the 5.2% pace in the first quarter, Bloomberg News reports. The sales results may convince the Federal Reserve to limit future interest rate reductions, but Fed officials said there's still some risk an economic rebound will be slow in coming. According to Bloomberg, the Fed's report on economic conditions said manufacturing has declined or remained weak, construction appears to have leveled off and retail sales have been slow or flat.
- by Julia M. Duncan