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Retail sales fall in May as prices continue to rise

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Richie Malouf | The Center Square

(The Center Square) –  The U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday released advance estimates of U.S. retail sales which showed those sales fell 0.4 percent in May.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers took the biggest hit, with sales dropping 3.5 percent. Electronics and appliance stores sales decreased 1.3 percent. Furniture and home furniture stores, as well as health and personal care stores, also experienced a decrease in sales.

Overall, online sales were down 1 percent in May.

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The report comes out as the Bureau of Labor Statistic's recent Consumer Price Index reports consumer prices have spiked by 8.6 percent in the last year. Meanwhile, gas prices have risen to a record high $5.01 national average.

Wall Street fell into a bear market this week, meaning an index like the S&P 500, the Down Jones Industrial Average or even an individual stock is 20 percent below a recent high for a sustained period of time. The S&P 500, at close of trading Tuesday, was 21.6 percent down for the year.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates to combat inflation. However, polling shows many Americans lack confidence in the economy's future performance and expect it to get even worse.