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Published
Sep 19, 2017
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NRF: August sales dip from July but increase over 2016

Published
Sep 19, 2017

The National Retail Federation reported this month the performance of retail sales for the month of August. August sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, fell 0.2% from July on a seasonally adjusted basis, but increased 3.7% unadjusted on a year-over-year basis.


Network Rail

 
Most categories posted small decreases from July to August, such as online and other non-stores, clothing and accessories stores, and sporting goods stores, but three categories increased in the period, including general merchandise stores, furniture and home furnishings stores, and health and personal care stores.
 
On a year-over-year basis, building materials and supply stores, and online and other non-store retailers both led the way, increasing 8.2% and 8%, respectively, followed by home and home furnishings, which increased 5.9%. Sporting goods stores and electronics and appliances stores decreased in both periods.

“Retail sales for August were truly a mixed bag, with monthly gains in July reversed in August,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The bottom line is that consumer spending is uneven but remains resilient and the key contributor to U.S. economic growth.”
 
The NRF added that total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009, and retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, have increased year-over-year in all but one month since the beginning of 2010.
 
The retail sales trends counter the notion that brick-and-mortar stores are failing due to increased e-commerce sales. Several retailers and fashion brands have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 alone, including Toys “R” Us, the most recent business to file bankruptcy protection.
 
In regards to the hurricanes’ impact on retailers, Kleinhenz said, “While it is too early to assess the impact Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have had on the economy and retail sales, there’s no doubt that they will impact consumer spending – particularly in certain sectors – as Florida and Texas work to rebuild.”

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