NRF: Spending tepid in July

Washington, D.C. Retail industry sales for July (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year and also declined 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, according to the National Retail Federation.

July retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased  0.4% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and increased 5.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

“Household spending remains tepid amid concerns about economic stability,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Current data on the economy is mixed which signals that retailers will continue planning with caution until a long-term trend can be established.”

Back-to-school related categories saw strong year-over-year gains. Clothing and accessories stores were up a solid 4.7% over last July, while declining 0.7% from June.

Electronics and appliance stores also showed strong year-over-year gains, increasing 8.1% and declining 0.1% from last month. Furniture and home furnishing stores ticked up 0.4% from the same period a year ago and declined 0.3% from the prior month. (All monthly sales are listed as seasonally adjusted, while year-over-year sales are listed as seasonally unadjusted.)

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