Bookstore sales cooled slightly in May, but spending still rose for the fifth straight month this year.
According to estimates released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales increased 3.1% in May over May 2015, rising to $826 million. The gain in bookstore sales outpaced the sales increase posted by the entire retail sector, where sales rose 1.5%.
The 3.1% increase in May bookstore sales was among the smallest monthly increases in 2016, being dwarfed by jumps like the one in April, when sales rose 9.7%. Still, for the first five months of 2016 sales were up 6.1% over the same period in 2015, reaching $4.66 billion. Sales for all of retail rose 3.0% in the January-May period this year over 2015.