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The US-based National Retail Federation (NRF) has released data showing that retail sales in the country remained at elevated levels last month.

The figures, based on data from the US Census Bureau, showed that overall retail sales in May fell by 1.3% seasonally adjusted from April. This was up by 28.1% year-over-year (YoY).

During the month, online and other non-store sales dropped by 0.8% month-over-month but increased by 8.2% unadjusted YoY.

Sales at grocery and beverage stores increased by 1% from April, but decreased by 0.2% from the same period of last year.

Clothing and clothing accessory store sales grew by 3% compared to the previous month and increased by 198.7% unadjusted YoY.

Electronics and appliance store sales fell by 3.4% from April, but rose by 90.8% unadjusted YoY.

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By GlobalData

Unadjusted May sales as calculated by NRF came to $388.6bn in total, the second-highest level of spending after the $414.7bn recorded for last December.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said: “Month-over-month comparisons and percentages of change simply don’t tell the story. We are at a highly elevated level of spending, with dollar amounts in recent months some of the highest we’ve ever seen.

“Long-term trends in the number of dollars spent tell much more about the continuing economic recovery than whether sales were up or down from month to month.

“Retail sales as calculated by NRF were the second highest on record in May, topped only by holiday spending in December. Demand has continued to be strong even as the concentrated impact from government stimulus has faded.

“There is still pent-up demand for retail goods and consumers are likely to remain on a growth path into the summer.”

Last month, the NRF reported that retail sales in the country remained “virtually unchanged” from March to April.