NRF: August Retail Sales See Only Slight Uptick
Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, September 21, 2011
WASHINGTON - Consumers curbed their spending somewhat in August, resulting in strong year-over-year retail sales growth in the month but modest month-to-month gains, said the National Retail Federation.
The new findings signal "a slight resistance from consumers who may be exhibiting signs of spending fatigue," the NRF warned, reporting August retail industry sales - which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants -increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted over July and 6.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
August retail sales numbers released last week by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales - which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a solid 9.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
"Consumer spending in August was tempered by a continued lack of confidence in the strength of our economy," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. "Having carried the brunt of the economic recovery so far, consumers may be waiting for good news in terms of employment and market stability, cautiously spending on things they need and thinking twice about things they want."
Added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz: "August retail sales mirror August employment figures - zero growth. Consumer spending has stalled, and it will be important for consumers to see positive changes in the economic outlook going into the fourth quarter. While we're not expecting a complete pull-back in spending, the outlook remains modest in terms of growth."
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