Retail sales rebounded in July and sales were revised upward for both May and June, according to reports from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In July, excluding autos, gas and restaurants, retail sales increased by .3 percent seasonally adjusted from June and 3.4 percent adjusted for the same period in 2014. June retail sales were revised to an increase of .2 percent from the previous month.
The Commerce Department reported overall retail sales in July grew 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from June and 2.4 percent year-over-year.
“July retail sales did not disappoint expectations, and given June’s revision from a sharp decline in month-to-month sales to actual positive spending results, it’s clear that consumer spending continues to fuel much of our economic growth,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation. “July’s results further cement our expectations that we’ll see continued sales and spending growth through the remainder of 2015.”
Despite the good news, Kleinhenz said consumers are still cautious about spending and aren’t using credit to buy items.
“Given the renewed growth in the labor market and incomes and sustained low gas prices along with the improving housing market, we are still optimistic that retailers will eventually benefit from a more confident consumer.”
All retail categories improved over the previous month with the exception of general merchandise and electronics retailers:
– Sales at building and materials stores increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over June and 2.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
– Sporting goods stores’ sales increased 0.9 percent over June and 7.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The broader athleisure apparel trend has positively boosted sales at sporting goods stores for several quarters now.
– Sales at clothing and clothing accessory stores increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
– Non-store sales increased a strong 1.5 percent over June and 6.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. A number of retailers had Black Friday online events in July that could be a special factor in this month’s report.
– General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over June and increased 1.5 percent over last year.
– Sales at electronics stores decreased 1.2 percent from the previous month and 2.9 percent unadjusted over the previous year.