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Furniture sector sales edge up in May
WASHINGTON — Furniture and home furnishings store sales edged up in May after taking a dip in April, although the sector growth continued to lag behind the broad retail sector.
Sales in the home furnishings store category were up 0.6% in May, reaching $10.19 billion from the $10.13 billion in May 2018, according to the latest report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The increase followed April’s slight increase of 0.1% and an increase of 0.6% in March for the furniture store sector.
May furniture and home furnishings store sales were up 0.1% from April sales of $10.18 billion.
May sales for all U.S. retail and food services industries increased 3.2% from a year ago, to $519.02 billion and showed a slight increase (0.5%) from April’s $516.02 billion.
The furniture store sector fared better than several subsectors that saw a year-over-year decline in May 2019, including department stores, a segment of general merchandise stores (down 4.6%); sporting goods/hobby/musical instrument/music & book stores (down 4.2%); miscellaneous store retailers (down 2.6%); and electronics & appliance stores (down 2.4%).
Category winners for May were led again by nonstore retailers, which include e-commerce and mail-order catalog businesses, with an 11.4% increase from May last year. Other sectors with an increase of more than the overall retail gain in April included: food services & drinking places (up 3.7%), health & personal care stores (up 3.4%) and general merchandise stores (up 3.3%).
For the three months March through May 2019, furniture and home furnishings store sales show an increase of 2.5% from the previous three-month period and a decline of 0.2% from the same period in 2018, according to the report.
Total retail and food services sales increase 2.2% from the previous period and up 3.6% year over year. Gas stations posted the greatest increase from the previous three-month period, up 7.1%. Non-store retailers posted the greatest year-over-year increase, up 10.9% for the three-month period.
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