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Retail Sales Continue to Rise

August 14, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau reported advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July 2020. Retail sales were up for the third straight month..

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $536.0 billion, an increase of 1.2 percent ( 0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 2.7 percent ( 0.7 percent) above July 2019. Total sales for the May 2020 through July 2020 period were down 0.2 percent ( 0.5 percent)* from the same period a year ago. The May 2020 to June 2020 percent change was revised from up 7.5 percent ( 0.5 percent) to up 8.4 percent ( 0.2 percent).

Retail trade sales were up 0.8 percent ( 0.5 percent) from June 2020, and 5.8 percent ( 0.7 percent) above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 24.7 percent ( 1.4 percent) from July 2019, while food and beverage stores were up 11.1 percent ( 0.9 percent) from last year.

The July retail sales of 1.2% were less than the expected increase of 2.3%. But not counting autos, the gain was 1.9%, ahead of the 1.2% estimate.

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