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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.