US Retail Sales Preview: Forecasts from eight major banks, modest consumption


The US Census Bureau will release the June Retail Sales report on Tuesday, July 18 at 12:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts of economists and researchers of eight major banks regarding the upcoming data. 

Retail Sales in the US are expected to rise 0.5% month-on-month vs. 0.3% in May. Meanwhile, sales ex-autos are expected at 0.4% MoM and the so-called control group used for GDP calculations is seen at -0.3%


For Retail Sales in June, we forecast an increase of 0.4% compared with May. However, part of the increase reflects the rise in the price of gasoline, which is inflating nominal sales at gas stations.

Credit Suisse

We expect Retail Sales growth to accelerate in June, driven by strong auto sales. We expect headline retail sales to grow 0.8% MoM. Retail sales ex-autos and gas are set to increase by 0.2% MoM.


We expect Retail Sales to advance for a third consecutive month in June after registering 0.3%/0.4% MoM gains so far in Q2. Indeed, we forecast a strong 0.6% MoM gain for the headline. Volatile auto sales will likely add to growth while sales in gas stations likely proved to be an obstacle. Importantly, control group sales are expected to stay firm again at 0.5% MoM, though online activity has started to lose some momentum. We also look for sales in bars/restaurants to expand at a brisk pace, which points to a consumer that continues to support spending in the services segment.


Auto sales and gasoline station receipts should have increased during the month, which, combined with advances in housing-related categories, should translate into a 0.4% progression for headline sales. Spending on items other than vehicles, meanwhile, might have advanced 0.3%.

RBC Economics

US Retail Sales likely ticked up 0.6% in June, thanks to a boost in auto sales during that month. We expect ex-auto sales were little changed at +0.1% on a MoM basis, supported by a price-related increase in gasoline station sales.


Consumers showed signs of caution in discretionary Retail Sales categories in May, but stronger income growth in June likely resulted in an acceleration in Retail Sales in that month. The expected 0.6% headline advance in sales will include a boost from higher prices at the pump, but goods prices outside of gasoline and vehicles were generally flat on the month, implying a healthy advance in volume terms in the more important control group. That group excludes gasoline, autos, restaurants, and building materials, and feeds more directly into non-auto goods consumption in GDP, and likely accelerated to 0.5%. We’re slightly more optimistic on the control group than the consensus, which would reinforce the need for further Fed rate hikes and lift bond yields.

Wells Fargo

We forecast a pickup in consumption and forecast Retail Sales to rise 0.5% in June, receiving somewhat of a lift again from sales at auto dealers as the sector continues to normalize. After a few weak months of sales growth, we expect there is some payback to be had in goods spending. But with real income growth showing signs of moderating amid dwindling excess saving and tighter credit conditions, we’re somewhat inclined to wave off a few monthly increases in the coming months as low base effects, more so than the start of a sustainable run in retail sales growth.


We expect a modest 0.3% MoM increase in total Retail Sales in June while control group sales should increase by a softer 0.1% MoM in June which would imply around 1.1% QoQ annualized increase during the second quarter for this category in nominal terms. That increase would also be softer in real terms. Services are likely to remain the main driver of consumption growth.


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