Retail spending slows entering summer, but will grow as season progresses
A new government report suggests that consumer spending edged up just barely in spring. This information may worry some merchants, but analysts predict consumers will resume spending again this summer.
Gas prices have declined over the past few months, but not enough to significantly stimulate spending. However, key sectors noted significant lifts in sales. For example, furniture retailers and appliance sellers saw a significant boost in sales. Moreover, these are big ticket items, which means consumers aren't afraid to make big purchases when they want to.
"The continued fall in gasoline prices should support consumption by freeing up cash to be spent on other items," Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, told The Washington Post.
"The drop in gas prices means summer spending will accelerate," Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, added.
While the summer months are typically slow due to consumers spending more time outside and shopping indoors less, some seasonal retailers are particularly set to benefit from bigger sales through the back-to-school season.