After six months, industry sales are (still) rocking

NAICS 444 half-year total is up 18.3% from the year-ago figure.
a person standing in front of a building

First half sales at NAICS 444 category dealers -- the all encompassing sector of home centers, lumberyards and hardware stores -- increased 18.3% comopared to the first half of last year.

That data comes from the. U.S. Census Bureau's Monthly Sales Report released Friday.

For June, Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (NAICS 444) totaled an unadjusted $45.052 billion, up from $42.092 billion in the same month a year ago. 

However, on an adjusted basis, industry sales slipped 1.6% compared to May. 

Relative to other sectors tracked by the Monthly Sales Report, The 7.0% year-over-year gain of NAICS 444 was a laggard in June. Double-digit gains were reported by those sectors that are experiencing strong reopenings:

Clothing: up 47.1%
Electronics: up 37.3%
Furniture: up 17.7%

The National Retail Federation poointed to general strength for U.S. retailers, as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued, the National Retail Federation said today.

“Continued growth in June retail sales shows enduring strength in the American consumer,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Heading into the back-to-school season, we expect record sales as families purchase electronics, shoes and backpacks for in-person learning this year. However, as the drop in monthly auto sales indicates, retailers are facing product shortages and supply chain constraints. We urge Congress and the administration to enact meaningful, bipartisan infrastructure legislation that is critical for retailers who depend on a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system to drive further economic growth.”

“We’re continuing to see an impressive recovery,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The economy and consumption are particularly sensitive to government policy, and the boost we saw from government support earlier in the year is continuing to show benefits. Reopening of both stores and the overall economy has progressed, and even higher prices seen in some retail categories reflecting the push-and-pull of supply chain challenges haven’t proven to be a deterrent to spending. As more people get vaccinated and get out, some of the growth will shift to services rather than retail but there’s enough momentum to support both.”