While purchases of building supplies and new vehicles gave U.S. retail sales a large boost in August, many other stores noted declining or weak receipts. The government said retail sales increased 0.4 percent in August, however, sales were flat with the exclusion of new trucks and cars, Marketwatch reported.
Gas station sales dropped nearly 1 percent in August with the conclusion of the summer driving season. However, the outlet noted that is good for consumers: With less money spent on gas, they can spend more on other services or goods, or save money. At the same time, it was noted that sales increased 1.6 percent at eCommerce retailers and 1.4 percent at garden and home centers like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Department stores, clothing retailers and restaurants noted sales declines of approximately 1 percent. Sales also declined at home furnishing stores and groceries. Retail sales in May and July were also somewhat stronger than what was first reported.
According to the outlet, consumers are “keeping the good times going,” supported by the lowest unemployment rate in half a century and increasing incomes. The economy is still growing at a rate of approximately 2 percent, and “there’s little sign of imminent recession,” with the assumption that the trade war doesn’t worsen.
The news comes as July retail sales saw a 0.7 percent increase, per reports in August. That result came in far higher than the 0.3 percent pickup analysts had forecast. With the removal of such volatile segments as auto and gas sales, retail sales were up 0.9 percent.
One major area of increase was online sales, as internet retailers experienced a 2.8 increase during July. That boost was likely an offshoot result of Amazon’s Prime Day event, along with competing deals, sales and offers made by rivals looking to draft onto the shopping holiday.