Retail sales inch up in July

The Dept. of Commerce reported that U.S. retail sales edged up slightly July, following a similarly small increase in June

The Dept. of Commerce reported that U.S. retail sales edged up slightly July, following a similarly small increase in June.

Monthly retail sales were up 0.5% from June and up 8.5% when compared to July 2010. Even excluding auto sales, retail sales were still up 0.5% over June and up 8.9% over July of last year.

The Commerce Dept. noted that furniture stores, grocers, clothing stores, and non-store retailers saw higher gains in July this year, while others struggled to match sales from June. Gasoline sales rose a notable 1.6% indicating that consumers continue to spend more on fuel, the agency said.

Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Assn., added that the data indicates retailers are adjusting to “the new normal [of] slow, hard-fought gains” as “a variety of real and perceived obstacles, including disappointingly slow job growth and economic news that continues to fluctuate between subdued and chaotic and depress consumer confidence and spending.”

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