Retail sales grew slightly in June from last month, but were still well above last year’s levels.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that retail and food service sales in June 2022 totaled $680.6 billion, marking an increase of 1% from the previous month, and an 8.4% leap from June 2021.
The bureau also amended its numbers for May to reflect total sales of $673.9 billion, or a 0.3% increase from April.
Within retail, consumer spending in June rose 1% from May and was up 7.7% over last May. Sales at gasoline stations spiked 49.1% over last year, while food services and drinking sales were up 13.4% year-over-year.
Clothing and clothing accessories sales decreased 0.4% from May and 0.2% compared with June 2021.
The June spending numbers are not adjusted for inflation, which explains the massive 49.1% year-over-year gain in gasoline station sales.
This growth in spending comes amid persisting high levels of inflation. Consumer prices increased by 9.1% in June compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report. This number was up from 8.6% growth in May and 8.3% growth in April, and represented the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981.
Mounting inflation concerns have sparked calls from industry leaders on the Biden administration to take measures to alleviate inflation by repealing tariffs on goods from China. President Biden said on Sunday the administration would have “further discussions” before deciding what action to take.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve will meet again later this month to discuss another interest rate hike as it aims to tamp down inflation. In June, the Fed boosted the target to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, the largest hike since 1994. Many experts are expecting another rate hike even higher this month.