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AFP
August 15, 2020

US retail sales rise 1.2pc in July

Business

AFP
August 15, 2020

Washington: US retail sales increased 1.2 percent compared to June, a more modest increase than economists had been expecting, held down by a decline in auto sales, according to government data released on Friday.

It was the third straight increase after the 8.4 percent increase in June, and the gain puts sales 2.7 percent higher than the same month of 2019, the Commerce Department reported. But for the first seven months of the year, sales amid the coronavirus pandemic were 2.1 percent lower than the same period of last year.

Auto sales fell 1.3 percent compared to June, but excluding that decline, total retail sales rose 1.9 percent, according to the data. Sales of electronics, appliances and clothing all posted solid increases, but some categories that had seen sales explode in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic showed signs of slowing last month.

Building and garden supplies fell nearly three percent, but are up nearly 15 percent compared to a year ago, while sporting goods, hobby, music and books fell five percent but are nearly 18 percent higher than July 2019.

Meanwhile, online retailers saw a modest rebound of 0.7 percent after a sharp drop in June, but are close to 25 percent above last year´s pace, the report said.