MasterCard report: U.S. retail sales up 4.6% in July

New York -- The latest SpendingPulse report from MasterCard showed that U.S. retail sales rose 4.6% year-over-year in July, the largest year-over-year gain since October 2012.

Lodging, Airlines and Restaurants were among the top categories for U.S. retail sales last month, while Automotive, Grocery and Luxury items (excluding Jewelry) were less sought after by consumers.

“By and large, the U.S. economy has shown signs of positive growth over the last few months, especially as weather in most of the country improved,” said Sarah Quinlan, senior VP, Market Insights for MasterCard Advisors. “Positive economic statistics such as new job hiring are giving consumers more confidence that the recovery is a reality. This confidence is seen in people taking vacations and dining out. They’re choosing to truly ‘experience’ the rebound.”

The rebound trend has not, however, benefitted the Apparel or Department Store categories, which showed very modest growth. Despite heavy promotions and discounting for back-to-school, their sales will likely be fairly muted as parents hold off on shopping for new clothes until the weather turns colder, according to MasterCard.

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