Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Total retail sales rose 0.4 percent in July, following a 0.3 percent decrease in June and a 1.0 percent decline in May. However, the details are much less supportive of the headline bounce-back. Sales were up in only five of the major categories, led by strong increases in two relatively volatile series—autos and gasoline stations. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 1.6 percent in July, after a 1.3 percent decline in June, while sales at gasoline stations popped up 2.3 percent (likely on increasing gas prices). A less-noisy measure of the trend in retail sales—sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations—actually fell 0.1 percent during the month and is virtually unchanged over the past three months, diverging from its 12-month growth rate of 4.0 percent.