Retail industry analysts are guarded about the outlook for May’s retail sales, despite better-than-expected results at Macy’s and improving consumer confidence.
“We believe that May sales have had a weak start,” Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in the firm’s monthly retail sales preview.
Jaffe expects that sales in early May followed April's weaker trend, as unseasonably warm weather in March made consumers buy spring merchandise early.
Add that to a late Mother’s Day and there may have been some weakness at the beginning of the month. That seemed to be the message in retail earnings calls as retailers issued cautious forecasts.
"Analysts are taking a careful approach to May same-store sales given the cautious tone issued by most retailers on second-quarter earnings guidance," said Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics, in a research report previewing monthly retail sales reports.
The Thomson Reuters Same-Store Index, which tracks stores that release monthly sales reports, is expected to rise 3.6 percent in May. That's a solid gain when one considers sales were strong in the year-ago period, rising 5.4 percent from the prior year.
One factor that may help retailers is that the May retail calendar tends to include more promotional events, and that could help lure shoppers into stores.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page