US: Retail sales accelerate, hints of inflation

5 min
Dan North
Dan North Senior Economist for North America

The consumer has reappeared, as June retail sales rose a strong +0.5% m/m and May was revised up from +0.8 to an outsized +1.3%. Gains were widespread across industries, but especially in discretion¬ary categories, indicating that consumers are rebuilding their confidence. Food/drinking places rose +1.5% m/m in June and +2.6% m/m in May to +8% y/y, the fastest in three years. Con-sum¬er prices rose to +2.9% y/y, a 6.5-year high, with the core rate rising +2.3% y/y. Producer prices also showed inflation, rising to +3.4% y/y. Tariffs are showing up for producers as steel and alumi-num products are both up +14% YTD. Industrial production rose +0.6% m/m in June, driven by the second consecutive month of big gains from the mining component. On a y/y basis industrial produc-tion grew +3.8% with manufacturing up +1.9%. Fed Chair Powell again described a robust economy, supporting the case for two more rate hikes this year. But, he also noted that regarding tariffs, We've heard a rising chorus of concern, which now begins to speak of actual capex plans being put on ice for the time being.