Retail sales rose more than analysts expected last month, as shoppers headed to stores and online to drive gains in electronics and clothing, government data showed.
Total sales rose 0.7% month-on-month to $523.5 billion, better than the consensus on Econoday for an increase of 0.3%. The previous month’s print was revised to 0.3% growth from 0.4% previously, the US Census Bureau said on Thursday.
Year-on-year, retail sales are up 3.4%. In the month, sales excluding vehicles and parts rose 1%, faster than the 0.3% price in June and ahead of the consensus for 0.4%. Stripping out autos and gasoline stations, sales rose 0.9% from 0.6% in June and better than the 0.5% expected.
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“Consumers were out in droves, apparently, enjoying the heat and spending on things like electronics/appliances, clothing, dining out (the most discretionary of them all), and hitting the department stores, and going online,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist with BMO Capital Markets Economics.
Sales at electronics and appliance stores rose 0.9% and were up 0.8% at clothing and accessories retailers. Nonstore retailers, which includes e-commerce, reported a 2.8% gain in the month while food services and drinking places sales increased 1.1%, the data showed.