United States: Retail sales bounce back in July
August 14, 2012
In July, retail sales expanded 0.8% over the previous month in nominal terms. The figure contrasted the revised 0.7% contraction recorded in June (previously reported: -0.5% month-on-month) and overshot market expectations, which had anticipated retail sales adding a milder 0.3% over the previous month. 11 out of the 13 subcategories composing the index expanded in July, with sales of sporting goods and at nonstore retailers recording the largest gains. Retail sales excluding autos and gas - a closely watched subcategory within the retail trade index - added 0.9% over the previous month (June: -0.4% month-on-month), exceeding market expectations of a 0.5% increase. In annual terms, retail sales increased 4.1% in July, up from the 3.5% expansion recorded in June. Nevertheless, the trend continues to point down, with annual average growth in retail sales moderating from 6.8% in June to 6.4%. 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.