Retail Sales Increased 0.6% in July, Up 4.2% YOY

Overall retail sales increase 0.6% from June.

Michael Pearce, at Capital Economics, said: "Consumption began the third quarter on a strong footing". Industry experts noted that online sales likely received a lift from's Prime Day promotion.

"The inherent volatility in the monthly retail sales reports notwithstanding, consumers will remain the key driver of growth in the USA economy", Richard Moody, chief economist of Regions Financial, told MarketWatch.

Excluding auto and gasoline, retail sales still rose a healthy 0.5% in July.

As per The Commerce Department, retail sales jumped from 0.6% last month, which have been the largest gain since December 2016.

A mysterious decline in spending at the end of the second quarter, meanwhile, vanished after fresh government revisions based on newly incorporated sales data.

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The US consumer continued spending freely in July, particularly on motor vehicles and building materials.

Economists have been expecting the USA economy to pick up steam in the second half of the year and that view got some support from the latest retail sales report - with a bit of help from Amazon.

Non-store retailers, which includes online shopping, reported sales increased 1.3% in July from the month before, while recording a whopping 11.5% compared to July 2016.

Gasoline stations, electronics merchants and clothing chains were the only categories to show sales declines in July.

The index of business activity rose to a three-year high of 25.2, a striking gain on July's 9.8 and well clear of the consensus estimate of 10. Commerce Department figures aren't adjusted for prices, so cheaper fuel costs depress results. There were also strong gains in sales at furniture stores, hardware stores and restaurants. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4% last month.

That helped boost sales of so-called nonstore retailers by 1.3% last month, the largest increase since December.

  • Ronnie Bowen