Retail Sales Edge Up in July

Retail Sales Edge Up in JulyRetailers saw gains in July, specifically in many back-to-school categories like clothing and sporting goods, as July retail sales excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 5.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year. July marks 13 consecutive months of retail sales gains, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports.

July retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total retail and food services sales, which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 5.4 percent adjusted year-over-year. While clothing and sporting goods retailers saw modest gains with early back-to-school shopping, home-based retailers saw marked decreases, possibly indicating the end of the year-long housing boom.

Other findings from the July retail sales report include:
  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales decreased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted yet increased 9.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 0.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales decreased 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 5.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 1.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Non-store retailers’ sales increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 11.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs—42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. For more information, visit