The prices at the gas pump are becoming more inviting as they have continued to decline over the past two months. As consumers fill up their tanks with a little more comfort, the lower prices have also negatively affected the retail sales for the U.S., according to the Department of Commerce.
The department released its monthly retail sales report for the month of May, which showed a decrease in seasonally adjusted sales by 0.2%. Accumulating consumer spending, with the exception of gas sales, the retail sales actually increased by 0.1%.
The beginning of the year had started off on good footing with the first three months showing increases in retail sales, with February having the largest increase at 1%. May represents the second month in a row that retail sales have seen decreases.
Although the report showed a month-to-month decrease of 0.2%, the retail sales are up 5.0% from May 2011.
The Producer Price Index was also released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the index for finished goods in May decreased by 1.0%. The energy and crude goods index had the largest impact on the decrease as they fell by 4.3% and 3.2%, respectively. Energy and crude goods have continued to decline over the past three months. The energy decrease is the largest since March 2009, when it reported a 4.6% decrease, according to the report.
The PPI reported decreases in foods, energy, intermediate, and crude goods for May. Finished goods, not including foods and energy, was flat at 0.2%.
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