Retail sales figures for the US in May are due out later today and are seen as a key check on the health of the American shopper.
The data, from the US Census Bureau, covers retail and food services and is expressed in cash terms, rather than in volumes.
In April, sales were 0.3% higher than in the previous month, and 4.7% higher than in April 2017.
Winners and losers
According to Bloomberg, the consensus among analysts is for a 0.4% rise in May compared with April, although estimates range from 0.1% to 0.6%. Bloomberg added: “Despite a wide consensus range, strength for retail sales is the call.”
The April figures showed a stronger number, 0.4%, once motor vehicle related spending was taken out, suggesting some weakness in auto sales. Analysts expect a repeat this time, with a consensus estimate of 0.5% month-on-month growth excluding sales of motor vehicles and parts.
Furniture and home furnishing stores saw sales rise by 0.8%, while there were 0.4% increases for, respectively, building material and gardening equipment retailers, and food and beverage stores.
The category “non-store retailers” experienced a 0.6% rise, while petrol stations saw sales rise by 0.8%.