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US Retail Sales Weather Inflation Woes

Aug 18, 2022 5:16 AM   By Anthony DeMarco
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US retail revenues for July remained stronger than a year ago as consumers continued to shop despite soaring inflation.

Sales were flat compared with the previous month, versus a 0.8% increase in June, according to data the US Census Bureau released on Wednesday. July sales were up 10% year on year.

Declines in gas prices supported spending. However, consumers are continuing to focus on essentials while limiting discretionary purchases, said National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO Matthew Shay. More could be done on the federal level to reduce prices, he added.

“Consumers are adapting to higher prices by prioritizing essentials like food and back-to-school items, and retailers are working hard to absorb the impact of higher costs and help customers stretch their hard-earned dollars,” Shay observed. “However, policy measures like removing China tariffs, enacting smart immigration reform and investing in supply-chain resiliency are needed to relieve inflationary pressure and lower costs for American families.”

July sales showed year-on-year increases in six of the nine categories the NRF monitors, led by online sales, building materials and grocery stores. Compared with June, spending rose in all except two segments.

The clothing and accessories category, which includes jewelry, declined 0.6% month on month but climbed 0.2% year over year.

Image: Consumer making tough choices. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Anthony DeMarco, data, inflation, retail, US, US Census Bureau
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