Home Furnishing Stores a Bright Spot in Retail Sales

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Even though June’s retail sales numbers were a little disappointing, sales made at home furnishing stores were a relative bright spot in the data.  Seasonally adjusted, sales at home furnishing stores were up 2.4% in June and are up 4.6% year over year.

Monthly sales in the category are still below their peak, but it’s encouraging to see that consumers are spending more on their homes again.  In addition to the strength at home furnishing stores, spending at building material and garden equipment stores is up 9.6% year over year, although it fell slightly last month.

Looking at wallet share, there’s reason to think that there’s more room for housing spending to run.  Going back to the early 90s, American’s have generally spent about 2.5% of retail sales at furniture and home furnishing stores.  Even with the recent rebound, we are still only spending 2%.  This may help explain the recent surge in stocks like $BBBY, $WSM and $RH.

Retail Sales Home FurnishingSource: Census Bureau, FRED