Weekly sales gained on both a sequential and year-on-year basis last week with furniture stores again registering the best performances.
According to The Retail Economist LLC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, sales during the seven days ended June 13 rose 0.2 percent from the prior week with sales up 1.9 percent over the comparable week last year.
The index value for the week was 567.8, versus 566.4 in the week ended June 6 and 557 in the comparable 2014 period.
“Despite favorable seasonal weather, business was mostly weaker across retail segments over the past week,” said Michael Niemira, chief economist and principal of The Retail Economist. “Although TRE expects sales growth to grind higher as the year progresses and into the back-to-school shopping season, that improvement will likely be slow with many fits and starts along the road.”
Furniture stores continued to outperform other sectors within retailing, but there were few other signs of strength. Department and apparel stores joined with electronics, dollar and drug stores and wholesale clubs in generating weaker results than in the prior week.
While the wait for summer weather had limited sales in prior weeks, its arrival last week didn’t help generate action at stores either. According to Weather Trends International, the average temperature in the U.S. last week was 3.9 degrees above last year’s level and 3.6 degrees above the long-term average.
Gasoline prices continued to climb, putting their cumulative rise in the past eight weeks at 42.7 cents and the national average at $2.835 for a gallon of regular-grade unleaded fuel, while remaining 23.1 percent lower than at the same point last year.
The Retail Economist expects same-store sales for June to grow between 1 and 2 percent when participating stores report their results on July 9, better than the 0.6 percent reported for May.