|Report: Retail sales remain weak in August|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 13 September 2013 03:09 PM EDT|
August saw retail sales increase, but at a considerably slower pace than expected. Overall retail sales (not including automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.1% from July, and increased 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
“Slow growth continues to be the economic story five years after the financial crisis,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “The economy, employment, wages and retail sales continue to stagger along. Retailers and consumers are resilient, but not overly optimistic about the broader economy.”
An NRF reporting category that includes book and music store sales saw a 0.5% drop in seasonally adjusted month-to-month sales. However, an unadjusted year-over-year comparison shows sales growth of 3.7% in the category.
“Retail sales and employment, while measurably positive, have been disappointing over the last few months, and have been difficult to reconcile with consumer confidence,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist.
“The data suggests that consumers remain cautious with their pocketbooks and purchases,” Kleinhenz continued. “This month’s weak retail sales report will continue to put pressure on policymakers, who are dealing with tapering, and retailers, who will need to focus on price and value to entice consumer spending.”