UNITED STATES NEWS

Retail sales rise 0.7% in July from June as inflation continues to ease

Aug 15, 2023, 5:45 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans increased their spending last month as inflation continued to ease on eggs, electronics and other items, and the job market remains healthy.

Retail sales rose a better-than-expected 0.7% in July from June. The gain followed a revised 0.3% gain the previous month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Excluding autos and gas, sales rose a solid 1%.

Sales at a number of different outlets increased. Department stores posted a 0.9% increase, while clothing and accessories stores had a 1% gain. At restaurants, sales rose 1.4%. while online sales rose 1.9%. But furniture and home furnishings stores and electronics stores remained weak, registering declines.

The uptick reflects the economy’s resiliency despite a still challenging economic environment of still high prices and higher interest rates that make borrowing on credit cards and getting a mortgage for a home more expensive. Yet spending has been volatile this year after surging nearly 3% in January. Sales tumbled in February and March before recovering in April and May.

The report comes as inflation has cooled but not enough to meet the Federal Reserve’s target rate.

United States News

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Retail sales rise 0.7% in July from June as inflation continues to ease