July Retail Sales Show Strong Growth

July retail sales were up 4.9% year-over-year and 0.4% seasonally adjusted from June with sales at furniture and home furnishing stores and electronics and appliances stores remaining strong. The figures exclude sales of automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist with the National Retail Federation, pointed to several factors including strong consumer confidence, a strengthening labor market and recently approved federal tax relief as key factors driving sales.

“Consumer fundamentals remain healthy and continue to provide the wherewithal for consumers to drive domestic economic growth,” he said.

The one concern, Kleinhenz said, is the proposed tariffs from the Trump administration that could lead to price increases on a host of items at retail.

Figures from the United States Census Bureau show year-over-year sales growth in several retail channels. They include:

  • furniture and home furnishings stores, up 3.5%
  • electronics and appliance stores, up 4.2%
  • grocery stores, up 4.9%
  • general merchandise stores, up 3.2%
  • department stores, up 0.3%
  • nonstore retailers, up 8.7%