PhotoConsumers continued to spend in May, sending retail sales up for a second consecutive month.

The Census Bureau reports sales were up 0.5% last month totaling $455.6 billion. That's a gain of 2.4% from the same month a year ago.

May's month-over-month advance was led by sales at gas stations (+2.1%), nonstore retailers and sporting goods (+1.3%), hobby, book, & music stores (+1.3%), and food services and drinking places (+0.8%). On a year-over-year basis, sales soared at nonstore retailers (+12.2) and health & personal care stores (+8.3).

Last month's losers include building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers, with a sales decline of 1.8% from April, and miscellaneous store retailers, where sales were down 1.2%.

The complete May retail sales report is available on the Census Bureau website.


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