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Retail Sales Tick Higher in July

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the retail sales figures for July. Investors and economists have been looking for the consumer to drive the economy, particularly as about 70% of gross domestic product comes from the consumer spending component.

Thursday’s Census report showed that the preliminary estimates for U.S. retail and food services sales for July rose by 0.6% from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis to some $446.5 billion. This reading was actually up by 2.4% from the July 2014 reading. It was also 0.1% higher than the Bloomberg consensus of 0.5%.

Excluding autos, retail sales in July were up by 0.4%, versus the 0.4% expected for the month.

Total sales for the May 2015 through July 2015 period were up 2.3% from the same period a year ago. The May 2015 to June 2015 change was revised from -0.3% to virtually unchanged.

Retail trade sales were up 0.6% from June 2015, and they were 1.6% above last year. Food services and drinking places were up a whopping 9.0% from July of 2014. Motor vehicle and parts dealers reported that sales were up a sharp 6.9% from the same time in 2014.

The advance estimates are from approximately 4,900 retail and food services firms, which are said to account for approximately 60% of the MARTS dollar volume estimate.

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By Jon C. Ogg


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