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Retail Sales Grew Again In August Despite Slowing Economy

Washington – Retail sales rose in August as parents shopped for school supplies and other goods even as inflation continued and interest rates remained high, the National Retail Federation said.

“August retail sales show that consumers remain steadfast in the face of continued inflation and higher interest rates,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are focused on household priorities, as evident by spending this back-to-school season. Entering the fall, we expect moderate growth to continue despite uncertainties like the direction of inflation and interest rates as well as a potential government shutdown.”

“NRF’s numbers show the pace of retail growth cooled from July but that consumers are still active even as they continue to be selective and price sensitive,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Households have the capacity to spend, but momentum is slowing, in part because savings built up during the pandemic are running lower and credit costs are rising. Consumer spending growth has slowed but there is little hint of any sudden collapse.”

The U.S. Census Bureau today said overall retail sales in August were up 0.6% from July and up 2.5% year over year. That compared with increases of 0.5% month over month and 2.6% year over year in July.

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed August was up 0.1% seasonally adjusted from July and up 3.3% unadjusted year over year. In July, sales were up 0.7% month over month and also up 3.3% year over year.

NRF’s numbers were up 3.2% unadjusted year over year on a three-month moving average as of August and up 3.8% for the first eight months of the year.

August sales were up in five out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by health and personal care stores, online sales and clothing and accessory stores, and up in all but two categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

Continue reading at www.nrf.com

About NRF

The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com

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