June 10, 2024

CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Shows Retail Sales Jumped in May After a Slow April

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2024 – Retail sales jumped significantly in May, showing strong increases both month over month and year over year, according to the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, powered by Affinity Solutions, released today by the National Retail Federation.

“Consumers have clearly retained their ability to spend and are driving solid economic growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Spending is being supported by the job market and real wage gains. Inflation remains stubborn but is almost entirely in services rather than retail goods. May’s year-over-year gains are in line with what we saw earlier this year, and the month-over-month increases are the largest in more than a year. We believe this underscores that April’s moderation was an outlier.”

Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 1.35% seasonally adjusted month over month and up 3.03% unadjusted year over year in May, according to the Retail Monitor. That compared with an increase of 0.26% month over month and a decrease of 0.6% year over year in April.

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales (excluding restaurants in addition to automobiles and gasoline) was up 1.2% month over month in May and up 2.88% year over year. That compared with an increase of 0.4% month over month and a decrease of 0.05% year over year in April.

Total sales were up 2.13% year over year for the first five months of the year and core sales were up 2.48%. The month-over-month gains were the highest since April 2023, when total sales were up 1.13% and core sales were up 1.27%.

Unlike survey-based numbers collected by the Census Bureau, the Retail Monitor uses actual, anonymized credit and debit card purchase data compiled by Affinity Solutions and does not need to be revised monthly or annually.

May sales were up in five out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, health and personal care stores, and clothing and accessory stores. Sales were up in all but three categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 2.09% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 17.91% year over year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 1.29% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 6.86% year over year unadjusted.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 1.44% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 6.24% year over year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were up 1.31% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 4.89% year over year unadjusted.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 1.97% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 2.53% year over year unadjusted.
  • Building and garden supply stores were down 0.6% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 0.53% year over year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores were up 1.04% month over month seasonally adjusted but down 0.71% year over year unadjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were down 0.05% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 0.87% year over year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.14% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 3.21% year over year unadjusted.

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As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF provides data on retail sales each month and also forecasts annual retail sales and spending for key periods such as the holiday season each year.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $5.3 trillion to annual GDP and supporting more than one in four U.S. jobs — 55 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. 

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About Affinity Solutions
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a complete view of U.S. and U.K. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into privacy-compliant, actionable intelligence for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive strategic growth and lasting customer relationships. Visit us at to discover how we’re shaping the future of consumer purchase insights.



NRF: J. Craig Shearman |

CNBC: Melissa Castro |

Affinity Solutions: Dewi Paulino |

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