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SpendingPulse Notes 14% Jump in Online Retail Sales for July

Higher Gas Prices in July Zap $11B More From Consumers

Aug 4, 2011 11:39 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales, found that apparel sales showed gains in July 2011,  while electronics, appliances and furniture remained in negative territory. Auto parts and service sales declined for the first time in July after five months of growth.

Online retail sales rose 14 percent year on year in July, according to SpendingPulse, with all subcategories of goods reflecting improvement except for electronics. Analysts noted that while ecommerce growth was robust in July, it also reflected the smallest percentage increase since February.

The SpendingPulse Luxury Index, which excludes jewelry sales, jumped  11.6 percent year on year, which was the largest increase since April 2010. 

Michael McNamara, the vice president  of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said, ''Sector weaknesses are the result of a variety of drivers.  The sluggish housing market is reflected in a sixth consecutive month of losses in furniture and furnishings.  Further, consumers were paying about $1 more per gallon of gasoline this month than they were in July 2010.  At about 10.9 billion gallons pumped this July, that price increase is redirecting almost $11 billion per month towards gasoline spending and away from other areas of consumer spending, or savings.''

McNamara noted that continued high gas prices may also be showing their effect through the first monthly drop in automotive sales, as well as weaker spending for restaurants, where all of the subsectors posted their lowest growth rates in several months.  In the end, though, these decreases helps to strengthen ecommerce sales.

Tags: Jeff Miller, july, retail, sales, SpendingPulse
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