Supply-side constraints are having an impact
Retail sales declined by 1.3 percent for May as topline spending was again weaker than expected. But there were significant upward revisions to March and April that point to a stronger trend pace of expenditures – and perhaps to upward revisions for the May data, as well. A pickup in spending at restaurants and clothing stores was likely influenced by the fuller reopening of in-person activities across the country. Despite May’s decease, retail sales were still up by more than 28 percent over the past year and have far surpassed pre-COVID levels on the back of the successive stimulus payments this year.