Retail Sales Down Slightly in August From July But Up Over 2016
WASHINGTON, September 15, 2017 – Retail sales in August decreased by 0.2 percent from July on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation. On a year-over-year basis August sales showed some strength, increasing 3.7 percent unadjusted. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Retail sales for August were truly a mixed bag, with monthly gains in July reversed in August,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The bottom line is that consumer spending is uneven but remains resilient and the key contributor to U.S. economic growth.”
“While it is too early to assess the impact Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have had on the economy and retail sales, there’s no doubt that they will impact consumer spending – particularly in certain sectors – as Florida and Texas work to rebuild.” Kleinhenz said.
Year-over-year growth was up 3.4 percent on a three-month moving average.
- Online and other non-store sales decreased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted from July but increased 8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and accessories stores decreased 1 percent seasonally adjusted from July but increased 1.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise stores increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over July and increased 3.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliances stores decreased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from July and decreased 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Furniture and home furnishings stores increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted over July and increased 5.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Building materials and supplies stores decreased 0.5 percent from July but increased 8.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods stores decreased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from July and decreased 1.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Health and personal care stores increased 0.1 percent over July and increased 0.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
The August numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales. Total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009, and retail sales as calculated by NRF – excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants— have increased year-over-year in all but one month since the beginning of 2010.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.
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