Washington – “Tepid” was the word the National Retail Federation used to describe the pace of August sales, which rose 0.1% seasonally adjusted from last month and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants).
Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
“Retailers and consumers are resilient but not overly optimistic about the broader economy,” said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “While positive retail sales growth continues month-after-month, it is just not strong enough to move the needle.”
August retail sales released today by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) grew 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 4.7% adjusted year-over-year.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said consumers continue to be selective in their spending.
“This month’s weak retail sales report will continue to put pressure on policymakers, who are dealing with tapering, and retailers, who will need to focus on price and value to entice consumer spending,” he added.
Results in other sectors of retail include:
- Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales decreased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted but increased 5.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.1%nunadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 0.4%n unadjusted year-over-year.
- Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.5% nseasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores‘ sales decreased 0.5% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but increased 3.7% unadjusted year-over-year.