US retail sales grow at half predicted pace

 
Peter Spence
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A forecasted bounce back in retail sales failed to materialise (Source: Getty)

US retail sales disappointed in May, creeping up by just 0.3 per cent last month.

That's half what consensus estimates had suggested we'd see today, with economists predicting that we'd see growth of 0.6 per cent reported.

Investors were expecting the pace of sales growth to pick up, with analysts at Rabobank pointing towards indicators earlier in the week which gave a brighter picture of US economic activity in the second quarter.

Societe Generale calls it the "marquee release of the day", in what is otherwise a sparse economic calendar for traders. Analysts at the French bank expected sales to have reaccelerated sharply in May, after an anaemic 0.1 per cent gain in April. April's meagre increase has since been revised up by the Department of Commerce, who now see retail sales growth of 0.5 per cent in that month.

In a preview of the release, Societe Generale saw increased spending at a wide variety of outlets, along with a weather-induced rebound in restaurant purchases propelling sales steeply upwards.