United States Retail August 2021

United States

United States: Retail sales rebound in August

September 16, 2021

Retail sales grew 0.7% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in August, which contrasted July's 1.8% decrease. Looking at the details of the release, August's pick up was broad-based. Food and beverages and general merchandise stores output gained steam, while motor vehicle and parts dealers production contracted at a softer rate. Lastly, non-store retailer sales rose at a stronger rate, while gasoline stations sales moderated.

On an annual basis, retail sales rose 15.1% in August, which matched July’s expansion. Meanwhile, the trend improved significantly, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at plus 15.3% in August, up from July's 14.3% reading.

Commenting on August’s print, Francis Généreux, a senior economist at Desjardins, stated:

“The growth in retail sales in August, particularly if we exclude motor vehicles, is encouraging and suggests the new wave of the pandemic is not having a major impact on the economy. This could further reassure Federal Reserve officials.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 7.7% in 2021, which is up 0.4 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2022, the panel sees private consumption increasing 4.3%.


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United States Retail Chart

United States Retail August 2021

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

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