In a day rife with disparate economic data, U.S. business inventories were up but trade and manufacturers’ sales fell along with retail and food services sales, and import and export prices both declined.
All three data points painted a less than rosy picture of the U.S. economy.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail and food services sales for June were down 0.5% versus May, at $360 billion, but 4.8% above June 2009 sales. However, June was the second month in a row that retail sales tumbled.
Meanwhile, business inventories rose for the fifth month in May, edging up 0.1% compared to April, at an end-of-month level of $1.36 trillion, but down 1.5% from May 2009, the Commerce Department reported. Sales from U.S. trade and manufacturers’ shipments were down for the first time in more than a year at 0.9%, to $1.09 trillion, but up 11.8% from May 2009.
In addition, U.S. import prices declined for the second consecutive month in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, decreasing 1.3%. Export prices also fell in June, edging down 0.2% following three consecutive monthly increases.