Retail Sales ‘Tepid’ in August

Retail sales increased in the month of August but came in at a much slower pace than anticipated, according to the National Retail Federation.

August retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from last month and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Slow growth continues to be the economic story five years after the financial crisis,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “The economy, employment, wages and retail sales continue to stagger along. Retailers and consumers are resilient but not overly optimistic about the broader economy. 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) increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7 percent adjusted year-over-year.

“Retail sales gains continue to be tepid,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “Retail sales and employment, while measurably positive, have been disappointing over the last few months, and have been difficult to reconcile with consumer confidence. The data suggests that consumers remain cautious with their pocketbooks and purchases.”

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