The National Retail Federation reports retail sales grew at a snail’s pace 0.01% from July to August, rising 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year. These sales have stripped out automotive, gas stations and restaurants.
“Slow growth continues to be the economic story five years after the financial crisis,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The economy, employment, wages, and retail sales continue to stagger along. Retailers and consumers are resilient but not overly optimistic about the broader economy. While positive retail sales growth continues month-after-month, it is just not strong enough to move the needle.”
The August retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7% adjusted year-over-year.
“Retail sales and employment, while measurably positive, have been disappointing over the last few months, and have been difficult to reconcile with consumer confidence. The data suggests that consumers remain cautious with their pocketbooks and purchases. This month’s weak retail sales report will continue to put pressure on policymakers, who are dealing with tapering, and retailers, who will need to focus on price and value to entice consumer spending,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
Other findings from the August retail sales report include:
• Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 5.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
• Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
• Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
• Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
• General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.4% unadjusted year-over-year
. • Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 3% unadjusted year-over-year.
• Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 8.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 3.7% unadjusted year-over-year.