14 September 2012 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US retail sales rose 0.9% to $406.7bn (€313.2bn) in August from July, the US Commerce Department said on Friday.
Compared with August 2011, retail sales were up 4.7% year on year, the department said.
Excluding automobiles, retail and food services sales in August were $332.5bn, up 0.8% from July and up 3.4% year on year from August 2011.
Total retail sales for the June through August 2012 period were up 4.0% from the same period a year ago, the departement added.
Matthew Shay, president of the US National Retail Federation (NRF), said that Augusts’ increase demonstrated the retail industry’s “strength and resiliency during this fragile economic time”.
“However consumers and retail companies continue to face many questions and challenges, from stubbornly high unemployment and stagnant incomes to depressed housing prices and the looming fiscal cliff, all playing into overall economic uncertainty and declining consumer confidence,” Shay said.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz added: “While retailers continue to witness sustained sales growth, consumers remain cautious about their discretionary expenditures.”
“Consumers have carried much of the growth during the economic recovery, despite high food and gas costs. Though the economy isn’t backsliding, growth continues to be a sore point,” Kleinhenz said.
($1 = €0.77)
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