THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2009, AT 8:30 A.M. EDT

Timothy Winters / Ian Thomas                                                                                                                                                                                            CB09-89
Service Sector Statistics Division
(301) 763-2713


MAY 2009

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $340.0 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (0.5%)* from the previous month, but 9.6 percent (0.7%) below May 2008. Total sales for the March through May 2009 period were down 9.7 percent (0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The March to April 2009 percent change was revised from -0.4 percent (0.5%)* to -0.2 percent (0.2%)*.

Retail trade sales were up 0.5 percent (0.7%)* from April 2009, but 10.8 percent (0.7%) below last year. Gasoline stations sales were down 33.8 percent (1.5%) from May 2008 and motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 19.6 percent (2.3%) from last year.

The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau's full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms. Responding firms account for approximately 65% of the MARTS dollar volume estimate. For an explanation of the measures of sampling variability included in this report, please see the Reliability of Estimates section on the last page of this publication.

Percent Change in Retail and Food Services Sales

(Estimates adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday, and trading-day differences, but not for price changes)

The Advance Monthly Retail Sales for Retail and Food Services for June is scheduled to be released July 14, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

For information, visit the Census Bureau's Web site at <>. This report is also available the day of issue through the Department of Commerce's STAT-USA (202-482-1986).

* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different than zero.

o Current Quarter Retail E-Commerce Sales

Source: Retail Indicators Branch, U.S. Census Bureau | Last Revised: June 11, 2009