United States retail saleshit seven-month high in July

Marcus Newton
August 16, 2017

American consumers spent at a brisk pace in July, pushing USA retail sales to their biggest increase in seven months, according to preliminary figures released on Tuesday (Aug 15).

Excluding cars, retail sales still rose 0.5 per cent, while leaving out the volatile gasoline segment, sales were up 0.7 per cent.

Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity. "We have yet to see the full effect of back-to-school spending, but pickup in spending was evident both online and in general merchandise, which includes bricks-and-mortar department stores".

Retail sales actually rose 0.3% in June instead of falling 0.2% and sales in May were flat.

The June advance handily beat the median forecast of a 0.4 percent in a Reuters poll of analysts.

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Sales at electronic stores also fell slightly, but in all likelihood consumers merely shifted purchases to online retailers such as Amazon.

Sporting goods stores increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June but decreased 5.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Nunes said the June 12 Valentine's Day celebrations also stoked retail sales.

From May through July, home furnishings store sales saw a 4.9% increase from the same three months last year at a 1.7% increase from February through April of this year.

Gasoline stations, electronics merchants and clothing chains were the only categories to show sales declines in July. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy. Retail is the nation's largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S.jobs - 42 million working Americans.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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