US retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, were up by 4.8% for the month of May 2013 compared to the previous year period, reported National Retail Federation (NRF).

The sales demonstrated a marginal growth of 0.6% over the previous month April 2013.

According to the NRF, the positive sales growth is attributable to improvement in consumer confidence and spending that were
reportedly driven by stronger employment data and surge in home and equity prices.

The total retail and food services sales reported by the US Department of Commerce revealed 4.3% adjusted year-on-year growth alongside 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month increase.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay stated that despite fluctuating gas prices, severe weather and uncertainty over fiscal policy, consumers continue to drive the US economy.

"We should never underestimate the role and strength of the American shopper or the retailers that serve them," added Shay.

Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 11.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 4.8% unadjusted year-over-year.

Electronics and appliance stores’ sales declined 0.2% unadjusted in the prior year period.

Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales were up 0.1% unadjusted in the same month the previous year.

General merchandise stores’ sales increased rose 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz noted: "The economy is improving, albeit slowly, but we still have a long way to go. Stagnant salaries continue to constrain further economic acceleration. While sequester and tax increases dampened sales growth in the first quarter, it appears that the economy absorbed most of the blow."