United States Retail

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United States: Retail sales decelerate in August

September 15, 2015

In August, retail sales increased 0.2% over the previous month, in nominal terms. The print was a deterioration over the revised 0.7% increase seen in the previous month (previously reported: +0.6% month-on-month) and slightly undershot market expectations of a 0.3% increase. The positive result suggests that consumers are helping drive economic momentum in the third quarter. Retail sales are a good indicator for the evolution of consumer spending, a key part of economic growth in the United States, as it accounts for over two thirds of overall GDP.

August’s result mainly reflects an increase in sales at motor vehicle dealers, electronics as well as food and beverage stores. Furniture stores tallied decreased sales.

Retail sales excluding cars and gas—a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index—increased 0.3% in August over the previous month. The result was weaker than that 0.7% increase recorded in July.

Retail sales rose 2.2% in annual terms in August, which was below the 2.6% tallied in July. Moreover, the annual trend declined, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from July’s 3.1% to 2.9% in August.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 2.9% in 2015, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2016, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.7%.

Author:, Economist

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United States Retail Chart

USA Retail August 2015

Note: Month-on-month and year-on-year variation of nominal retail sales in %.
Source: United States Census Bureau

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