“The retail industry continues to demonstrate its strength and resiliency during this fragile economic time,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “However, consumers and retail companies continue to face many questions and challenges, from stubbornly high unemployment and stagnant incomes to depressed housing prices and the looming fiscal cliff, all playing into overall economic uncertainty and declining consumer confidence.”
August retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.2 percent from July and 3.8 percent year-over-year.
“While retailers continue to witness sustained sales growth, consumers remain cautious about their discretionary expenditures,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “Consumers have carried much of the growth during the economic recovery, despite high food and gas costs. Though the economy isn’t backsliding, growth continues to be a sore point.”