US Retail Sales Rise in June, NRF Predicts Strong July Activity with Back-to-School Shopping

by Hayden Spiess

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Census Bureau reports that overall retail sales in June rose 0.2 percent from May and 1.5 percent from June 2022. The Wall Street Journal reports that the retail sector’s three consecutive months of positive sales activity can be attributed in part to inflation easing. The Consumer Price Index, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ leading indicator for inflation, rose at an annualized rate of 3 percent in June, the lowest figure since March 2021.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization for the retail industry, expects the momentum to carry into July as consumers shop for back-to-school items.

“Back-to-class spending is one of the most important shopping occasions of the year, and NRF’s consumer research shows that back-to-school and college spending is expected to set new records,” says Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Consumers are looking for the best value and deals, and retailers are well-stocked with essential items for families and students.”

The NRF’s own calculation of retail sales excludes automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants in order to focus on core retail goods and services. The organization’s figures for June sales were up 3.3 percent year-over-year and 0.4 percent from May. June sales were up in six out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores and electronics and appliances stores, and up in four categories on a monthly basis.

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