Census shows slow but steady sales gains

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Thursday that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $421.1 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and 4.3% above May 2012.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers -- NAICS code 444 companies -- were up 10.1% from last year. The sector’s adjusted sales were $26.387 billion, up from $26.158 billion in April. 

Other results from today’s report include: 

• Total sales for the March through May 2013 period were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago.

• The March to April 2013 percent change was unrevised from 0.1%.

• Retail trade sales were up 0.7% from April 2013 and 4.3% above last year.

• Nonstore retailers were up 11.3% from May 2012.