Michigan retailers reported a dip in sales during June, although they remain optimistic that business will pick up over the next few months, according to a monthly index released last week.
The Retail Index compiled by the Michigan Retailers Association and the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago registered a 42.1 for June, off from the 46.9 in May and also down from 46.1 in June 2018.
Nearly four in 10 respondents to the association’s June survey recorded sales increases over May, while 46 percent saw declines and 16 percent reported no change.
Ahead of August, retailers responding to the Michigan Retailers Association’s monthly survey expect their fortunes to improve.
“The good news is that we’re heading into the back-to-school shopping season, typically a strong time for our retailers,” MRA President and CEO James Hallan said in a statement. “In fact, the strongest day for back-to-school sales often is the last Saturday in July.”
Among survey respondents this month, 45 percent said they expect increased sales through September and 41 percent expect no change. The remaining 14 percent anticipate a decrease in their sales.
Those expectations resulted in an adjusted outlook index of 64.3, which the Retailers Association termed as “a solid number as businesses head towards early fall.
The National Retail Federation this month projected a record back-to-school shopping season for per-household spending, although total spending overall will decline nationwide.
The Retail Federation expects spending by households with children in elementary through high school to grow this year to $696.70, up from last year’s average of $684.79 per household. Families with college students are projected to spend $976.78 per household to prepare for the new school year, up from 2018’s $942.17 and topping the record $969.88 set in 2017.
Still, since fewer people have K-12 and college-aged children, overall back-to-school spending is projected to decline 2.6 percent to $82.8 billion nationwide, according to a projection by the Retail Federation that’s based in survey conducted in early July with 7,660 consumers.
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