News / Economy

US Retail Sales Miss Expectations, Jobless Claims Rise

FILE - A now hiring sign is posted in the window of a clothing store on June 6, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
FILE - A now hiring sign is posted in the window of a clothing store on June 6, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
Reuters
U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in May and first-time applications for unemployment benefits increased last week, but that will probably do little to change views that the economy is regaining momentum.
 
The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales gained 0.3 percent last month. While that was below economists' expectations for a 0.6 percent rise, April's retail sales were revised to show a 0.5 percent increase.
 
Retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, had previously been reported have gained 0.1 percent in April.
 
In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 for the week ended June 7.
 
With job growth rising solidly in May and manufacturing and services industries expanding strongly, the retail and jobless claims reports probably will not cause too much anxiety.
 
U.S. stock index futures edged lower on the data, while prices for U.S. Treasury debt rose.
 
The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, the fourth straight month of job gains above 200,000. It has recouped all the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession. The unemployment rate held steady at a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent.
 
Economic growth in the second quarter is expected to top a 3.0 percent annual pace after contracting at a 1.0 percent rate in the January-March period.
 
So-called core retail sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, were unchanged last month.
 
However, they were revised to show a 0.2 percent rise in April, instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent dip.
 
In May, consumers bought automobiles, lifting receipts at auto dealerships 1.4 percent. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.1 percent in May.
 
There were solid gains in sales at building materials and garden equipment stores, as well as receipts at non-store retailers, which include online sales. An increase in pump prices pushed up sales at gasoline stations.
 
There were, however, marginal declines in receipts at sporting goods shops, electronics and appliances stores, as well as at clothing retailers and restaurants and bars.
 
In another report, the Labor Department said import prices edged up 0.1 percent last month after falling 0.5 percent in April. In the 12 months through May, prices increased 0.4 percent, advancing for the first time since July.
 
A sluggish global economy and slack in the domestic labor market is keeping inflation pressures muted, giving the Federal Reserve room to keep its ultra-easy monetary policy for a while.
 
The U.S. central bank slashed overnight interest rates to a record low of zero to 0.25 percent in December 2008 and is not expected to start raising them before the second half of 2015.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mercedes Sweazy from: Jeffersonville IN
June 12, 2014 1:41 PM
Obama has nothing to do with this. this is retail, food, clothing, and luxury goods. Last time I checked no matter the president, we still need to eat, and wear clothes. I could have expected this because the largest number of college applicants are rolling into college in the summer and fall. it's expensive, families are going to cut back extraneous spending to send their children to school, pay for dorms, get necessities, and squeeze in that last vacation before the big goodbye.
In Response

by: Mercedes from: Sweazy
June 15, 2014 12:30 AM
No, there is no such thing as the "Obama Economy". If you ever took economics, you would know that the economy is a evolving, self-independent entity. It takes years and even decades for changes, little problems slowly gain traction and build up and up until as we call it, it becomes a "bubble", that then pops and crashes our economy. Every fourty or so years we always have a banking failure, typically made worse by some section of the economy that relied heavily upon the banks' ill-doings. Like with our recent recession, we had a "housing-bubble" that unfortunately built up and then popped, in George W. Bush's terms in office. The economy crashed, and now it simply takes time to get back to the boom it was. The Great Depression wasn't ended in Two president's terms. And neither will this recession. Unlike the democrats who blame Bush for this, or the Republican who blame Obama, it was never any of their faults. If you follow the trails you'll see that the hands of the Banking Industry was already deep into debt, and corruption, long before Bush or Obama. You should read a good book, "Too Big to Fail" written by Andrew Ross Sorkin. It details how this all came about in a very factual sense, without taking any stances for or against any president, nor political party, but instead delves into how the economy can be and is, led by those who have learned to manipulate the system...or as we know them as, Ordinary Citizens. These people wanted power and money, and got both, at the cost of economic stability and Bankruptcy country-wide.
In Response

by: Steve from: MD
June 14, 2014 10:45 AM
Yes this is the OBAMA ECONOMY. It's his LACK of any type of sane policy that is the cause. Wait till he picks up his phone and pen and grants amnesty to millions of illegals and we will see if the economy improves like it has over his failed presidency. Bet you it won't. WAKE UP, the idea that is the United States is OVER!!!! That's the legacy of progressives and OBAMA.

by: Robert Martin from: Antioch, Tn.
June 12, 2014 11:47 AM
Did anyone expect anything different, Obama is still in office

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9118
JPY
USD
124.31
GBP
USD
0.6420
CAD
USD
1.3048
INR
USD
64.136

Rates may not be current.