Retail Sales Outperform Expectations in June

The U.S. Commerce Department released June retail sales figures on Thursday that beat estimates, soaring 7.5% after an 18.2% jump in May, the biggest gain ever. While that shows great signs of a continued economic recovery, new shutdowns related to the surge in COVID-19 cases and continued high unemployment claims may slow the gains.

The biggest increases in retail came from clothing, which was up 105% from May, but was still down 23% from the prior year. Other big winners were electronics/appliances, which gained 37%, furniture/furnishings (up 33%), and sporting goods/hobbies/music/books (27% higher). That last segment also had the biggest increase (21%) from last year.

A man and a woman shopping together.

Image source: Getty Images.

Other segments that increased year over year were general merchandise, motor vehicles, building materials/garden supplies, food and drink, and non-store retailers.Overall, sales increased 1% over June 2019.

This is good news for retailers that have been struggling, such as Macy's (NYSE: M) and Gap (NYSE: GPS), and maybe even better news for sports-related retailers such as Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS).

One step forward, two steps back

At the same time, there were another 1.3 million jobless claims filed last week, the same as the week before, and a drop lower than the week of July 4.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon said in a conference call on Tuesday, "You will see the effect of this recession, you're just not going to see it right away because of all the stimulus, and in fact, 60% or 70% of the unemployed are making more money than they were making when they were working."

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Jennifer Saibil has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nike. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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