Census Bureau: July Retail Sales Increase Over 2013

July retail sales were flat versus the previous month, according the United States Census Bureau’s monthly estimate, but year-over-year gains did occur. The bureau’s advanced estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, was $439.8 billion, virtually unchanged from the previous month, but up 3.7% from July 2013.

Retail trade sales were flat as compared with June 2014, and 3.4% above last year, the bureau stated. Health & Personal care store sales advanced slightly versus June and increased 7.3% compared with last year’s July, to $25.11 billion. Auto and other motor vehicle dealer revenues slipped slightly from June but advanced 6.4% from last year, to $87.64 billion.

General Merchandise store sales, including those at department stores, discounters and club retailers, were $55.16 billion, down from $55.42 billion in June, but as compared with July 2013, sales in this category were up from $54.54 billion.

Furniture and Home Furnishings store sales were gained slightly with $8.37 billion in sales this July as compared with $8.17 billion in last year’s month. Electronics & Appliance store sales also came in basically flat versus June but, at $8.76 billion, were up from $$8.64 billion in July of last year.

Grocery store sales gained slightly versus June and reached $49.56 billion, up from $48.39 billion in July a year earlier. Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book & Music store sales actually gained slightly from June to $7.21 billion but were off from the $7.38 billion realized in July 2013.

Total U.S. retail and food service sales for the May through July 2014 period gained 4.2% from the same period a year ago.