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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

August Retail Sales Flat as Consumer Spending Stalls


Retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) in August increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted over July and 6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to the monthly survey by the National Retail Federation, a retail trade association.

The NRF results are in line with data released by the U.S. Commerce Department that shows total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumer spending in August was tempered by a continued lack of confidence in the strength of our economy,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Having carried the brunt of the economic recovery so far, consumers may be waiting for good news in terms of employment and market stability, cautiously spending on things they need and thinking twice about things they want.”

Specific sales results from the NRF survey include:

* Sales at electronic and appliance stores increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 2.5 percent unadjusted from last year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 2.4 percent seasonally adjusted over July and 9.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

* Health and personal care stores sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over July and 5.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

* Building material and garden equipment and supplies stores sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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