- August 23, 2013
To gauge how retail sales are doing, it pays to ask Bert Hamilton.
Hamilton is the president and CEO of Fort Myers-based Harvey Software, whose programs help companies figure out the most cost-effective ways to ship goods around the country. That gives Hamilton a first-hand view at sales based on his customers' shipping volumes.
“We saw sales start to go down in the middle of April,” Hamilton says. “May never had any strong points.”
Sure enough, Hamilton wasn't surprised when the U.S. Census Bureau released May retail sales on June 11, they came in below forecast at -1.2%.
It looks like June may not be much of an improvement, though Hamilton says it depends on how well retailers do on Father's Day and whether Americans are spending on vacation.
“Overall, I would say sales are flat so far this year compared to last year and that will more than likely be the case for June and the rest of the summer,” he says.