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US Clothing and Footwear Spending Slipped in June for First Time in Four Months

Consumer spending for clothing and footwear dipped 0.25 percent to $409.9 million in June, breaking a string of three straight monthly increases, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Tuesday.

The drop off was reflective of a 1.6 percent year-over-year decline in clothing and accessories stores in June, as reported by the Commerce Department, although sales in the sector were up 0.5 percent month-over-month.

BEA’s monthly Personal Income and Outlays report showed that overall personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 0.3 percent, or $41 billion, in the month. Real PCE, adjusted for inflation, rose 0.2 percent. The PCE price index was up 0.1 percent, while the core index, excluding food and energy, rose 0.2 percent.

The $21.4 billion increase in real PCE in June primarily reflected a $19.5 billion rise in spending for nondurable goods and a $4.6 billion increase in spending for services that was partially offset by a decline of $1.5 billion in spending for durable goods.

This is also somewhat in line with the 0.6 percent increase in overall retail sales in June seasonally adjusted from May.

“These are impressive results showing that the consumer remains engaged and that consumer spending gave a boost to the economy in the second quarter,” Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation, said. “The numbers are consistent with elevated consumer sentiment, healthy household balance sheets, low inflation, and wage and job gains.”

Personal income was up 0.4 percent, or $83.6 billion in June, according to BEA estimates. Disposable personal income (DPI), a key barometer for retail spending, increased 0.4 percent, or $69.7 billion. Real DPI rose 0.3 percent in the month. The increase was mainly attributed to gains in wages and salaries, and government social benefits.

Personal outlays were up $44.2 billion in June, while personal saving was $1.34 trillion in June. The personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 8.1 percent.