MONTHLY APPAREL SALES DIP
WASHINGTON — Sales at apparel and accessory stores declined a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in June against May for the second consecutive monthly decline, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
Compared to June 2000, last month’s $14.03 billion in apparel and accessory store sales increased a modest 0.8 percent.
Rosalind Wells, chief economist with the National Retail Federation, described overall retail activity last month as “listless” due to cooler-than-normal weather and general consumer malaise, as reflected in the sluggish economy. However, she said sales should improve in the second half.
“We expect that the aggressive interest rate-lowering moves made by the Fed will begin to have an effect on economic activity,” Wells said in a statement.
Sales at all retail outlets last month showed a slight 0.2 percent gain, to $292.9 billion against May. Compared to year-ago levels, all retail sales last month were up 4 percent.
Meanwhile, department-store sales, excluding leased departments, in June increased 0.9 percent, to $19.72 billion, against May. Compared to June 2000, department-store sales last month were up 0.5 percent.
General merchandise store sales in June increased 0.4 percent, to $34.71 billion, against May. Compared to year-ago levels, general merchandise store sales last month jumped 2.6 percent.