Economic Headwinds Drive Retail Sales Down in June

Although monthly retail sales figures for June released today by the Department of Commerce reported modest growth over June 2009, retail sales, excluding auto sales, were down compared to sales from the previous month, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
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ARLINGTON, Va. -- Although monthly retail sales figures for June released today by the Department of Commerce reported modest growth over June 2009, retail sales, excluding auto sales, were down compared to sales from the previous month, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Overall retail sales declined 0.6 percent in June, but rose 5 percent over sales in June 2009. Retail sales excluding auto and auto part sales slipped 0.1 percent in June, but showed gains of 4.4 percent over the previous year.

"Although there is no question that the economy and the retail industry are in a considerably better place today than a year ago, retailers continue to face strong economic headwinds, limiting the industry's short-term growth," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "Persistent high unemployment continues to drag down retail sales further dampening hopes of meaningful near-term growth.

Electronics and appliance stores lead all other retail segments in June with a 1.3 percent increase in sales. The same segment realized a growth of 7.3 percent over June of 2009. Department store sales grew by 1.1 percent, while home improvement, home furnishing and sporting goods retailers all saw declines of 1 percent or more.

Today's retail sales follow the recent U.S. Department of Labor report that despite adding 83,000 private-sector jobs in June, the overall economy shed 125,000 jobs as 225,000 temporary census jobs were eliminated.

"Retailers will continue to utilize strategies to meet the demands of today's budget conscious consumer and to strengthen operational efficiencies, which will benefit them as the economy grows," added Kennedy.

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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