Retail Sales Strengthen in July
WASHINGTON-Reversing from two straight months of month-over-month declines, July U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent over June, totaling $403.9 billion on an adjusted basis, according to this morning's report on retail sales from the U.S. Census Bureau.
That figure also represented a 4.1 percent increase over July of last year. Among the channels carrying home furnishings, July's sales for furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.1 percent over June and 9.9 percent over last year's July. At general merchandise stores, the increases were 0.7 percent month over month and 0.6 percent year over year. Department stores (excluding leased departments) logged an increase of 0.6 percent over June but fell back 1 percent from July of last year.
"Despite high unemployment, and political and fiscal uncertainty, consumers are spending again, albeit cautiously," said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist. "Retail sales continue to remain resilient in the face of bleak international news, with retailers on track with sustained sales growth year-over-year and year to date. Retail sales will continue to see modest growth in the fall and winter."