Americans splash the cash in July as retail sales rise

US retail sales soar in July to 7-month high
US July retail sales volumes jump past forecasts
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17 August, 2017

The July numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales.

The acceleration bodes well for consumption, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

Retail sales in Brazil rose more than expected in June, government data showed on Tuesday, suggesting the central bank's string of large interest rate cuts may be starting to boost the economic recovery. Retail sales in many earlier months of the year were lackluster.

Helping to push the June level higher was a 1.2% increase in auto sales from the month before, its biggest increase since December.

However, retail sales for the month of May were revised to show no change instead of the previously reported 0.1% dip.

Total sales for the May 2017 through July 2017 period were up 3.9% from the same period a year ago.

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"The number showed broad-based strength, it beat forecasts both on the headline and the core and what was also encouraging was how the number for June got revised from the red back into positive territory", Manimbo said. Sales excluding autos and gasoline rose 0.5% after a 0.3% rise.

Nonstore Retailers were up 11.5% from July 2016, while Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 8.3% from previous year.

In response, the dollar hit a near three-week high against a basket of major currencies. The nation's gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.6% in the second quarter, up from the 1.2% pace in the first quarter of the year.

Excluding sales of autos and parts, sales rose by 0.5% on the month to hit $378.8bn (consensus: 0.4%). Sales at online retailers vaulted 1.3 per cent in July, the largest gain since December 2016, likely buoyed by Amazon.com's Prime Day promotion.

Sales at electronic stores also fell slightly, but in all likelihood consumers merely shifted purchases to online retailers such as Amazon.

However, cheap gasoline and falling sales of electronics and clothing items still weighed on sales last month.


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