U.S. retail sales rise for 3rd consecutive month
September 16, 2002,
Lifted in large part by surging sales of big-ticket items like furniture, home furnishings and cars, retail sales climbed strongly in August, by 0.8 percent, a third straight month of hefty gains, the Commerce Department reported.
And drawing in consumers with free-wheeling deals, car dealers drove sales higher by 1.9 percent in August, a third consecutive month of big gains.
Other big winners during August were sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, where sales soared up by 2.9 percent. Recovering from a summer-long trough induced by warm weather, building material and garden supply stores drew in consumers, pushing sales up by 0.5 percent.
Consumers took a breather with one home-related category, electronics and appliances, where sales slipped by 0.4 percent.
The gains outpaced declines during the month, and even there the shortfalls were relatively moderate. The greatest weakness was seen at gas stations, a volatile category due to rapid fluctuations in oil prices, where sales declined by 0.8 percent. Apparel stores were off by 0.3 percent.
Retail sales in August (by channel)
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Sporting goods, hobby, books & music||+2.9%|
|Furniture & home furnishings stores||+1.7|
|Building materials & garden supplies||+0.5|
|Health & personal care stores||+0.3|
|Electronics & appliance stores||-0.4|
|Clothing & accessories stores||0.3|