U.S. consumers appeared to buck the mood on Wall Street suggested the National Retail Federation, which has reported that retail industry sales in July increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 4.0
percent unadjusted year-over-year.
“In a week of stock market volatility, retail continues to be a steadying force in the economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers are showing that they still have spending power, and with a renewed focus on job creation we are optimistic this recovery can still get back on track.”
But the increase in spending was a result of seasonal spending sure to imminent start of the new school year, and retailers promoting traditional back-to-school items reaped the benefits of the summer shoppers. Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over June and 6.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Sales at electronic and appliance stores increased 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month but decreased 0.7 percent unadjusted from last year.
“July retail sales make one important point clear – it’s very hard to ignore the resilience of the American consumer,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Retailers promotions hit the right chord with back-to-school shoppers last month, helping ease concerns that consumers were pulling back on spending, which so far has been a driving force in the economic recovery.”
July retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.