US retail sales slow in July but demand steady
Retail sales in the US slowed in July amid supply chain disruptions but demand remains steady as consumers are learning to “live with the virus,” the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported.
Vaccinated consumers are also shifting some spending from goods to activities such as dining out and traveling despite the delta variant, the group added.
“July retail sales showed slight deceleration in spending, but nothing to derail our outlook for a record year,” revealed NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The consumer and broader economy continue to display steady strength aided by advanced tax credit payments and strong gains in the labour market and personal incomes.”
Citing data from the US Census Bureau, the federation said overall retail sales in July were down 1.1 per cent seasonally adjusted from June but up 15.8 per cent year on year. Clothing and clothing accessory stores, which include jewellery businesses, declined by 2.6 per cent month on month seasonally adjusted but rose 45.8 per cent unadjusted year on year.
For the first seven months of the year, sales as calculated by NRF were up 15.5 per cent over the same period in 2020. “That is consistent with NRF’s revised forecast that 2021 retail sales should grow between 10.5 and 13.5 per cent over 2020 to between US$4.44 trillion and US$4.56 trillion,” the group said.