16 August, 2017
Sales at US retailers surged in July to the highest level of 2017, aided by strong demand for new autos and Amazon's Prime Day shopping specials.
Excluding sales of autos and parts, sales rose by 0.5% on the month to hit $378.8bn (consensus: 0.4%).
Furniture and home furnishings stores outperformed the broader retail sector with a 5.6% jump in sales over the same month a year ago, according to the latest government report.
June sales grew 3 percent from the year-earlier month, beating expectations of a 1.9 percent increase. The acceleration bodes well for consumption, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
Retail sales actually rose 0.3% in June instead of falling 0.2% and sales in May were flat.
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"Admittedly, that was in part due to a 1.3% surge in non-store sales, presumably reflecting Amazon's Prime Day, which reportedly saw United States orders rise 50% from the same event a year ago".
Sales strengthened in other categories as well. In the first half of 2017, retail sales in Brazil decreased 0.1% on year. Americans increased spending last month on most goods except for clothes and gasoline. Commerce Department figures aren't adjusted for prices, so cheaper fuel costs depress results. And, the retail sales were increased by 4.2% in July on a year-on-year basis.
Building materials and supplies stores increased 1.2 percent over June and increased 8.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Health and personal care stores increased 0.4 percent over June and increased 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.