United States: Retail sales gather pace in July
August 13, 2015
In July, retail sales increased 0.6% over the previous month, in nominal terms. The print exceeded the flat growth recorded in June (previously reported: -0.3% month-on-month) and slightly overshot market expectations of a 0.5% increase. The positive result suggests that consumers are helping drive economic momentum at the start of 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.
July’s result mainly reflects an increase in sales at motor vehicle dealers, sporting goods and hobby retailers, as well as furniture stores. Electronic and appliance stores tallied decreased sales.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas—a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index—increased 0.4% in July over the previous month. The result was stronger than that 0.2% increase recorded in June and matched the 0.4% increase expected by the market.
Retail sales rose 2.4% in annual terms in July, which was above the 1.8% tallied in June. However, the annual trend declined, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from June’s 3.3% to 3.1%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist