Monthly sales figures from the National Retail Federation show year-over-year sales in August were up 3.7%, but sales on a seasonal basis were off 0.2% from July. The figures exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Retail sales for August were truly a mixed bag, with monthly gains in July reversed in August,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist. “The bottom line is that consumer spending is uneven but remains resilient and the key contributor to U.S. economic growth.”
He noted that in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it is still too early to tell what impact both major storms had on sales.
In key retail segments, year-over-year sales in August were up 8% for online and other non-store retailers, with sales at general merchandise stores up 3.1%
Year-over-year sales at electronics and appliance stores were down 3.3%, sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 5.9% and sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.3%.