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NRF: Early and avid BTS shopping spurs retail sales increases in July

"Steadying force in the economic recovery"

Washington, D.C. - The National Retail Federation found retail industry sales slightly ticked up in July, likely the result of retailers' avid back-to-school promotions.

Retail industry sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, in July increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and 4.0% unadjusted year-over-year, NRF said.

"In a week of stock market volatility, retail continues to be a steadying force in the economic recovery," said Matthew Shay, president and ceo. "Consumers are showing that they still have spending power, and with a renewed focus on job creation we are optimistic this recovery can still get back on track."

Added Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist: "July retail sales make one important point clear - it's very hard to ignore the resilience of the American consumer. Retailers' promotions hit the right chord with back-to-school shoppers last month, helping ease concerns that consumers were pulling back on spending, which so far has been a driving force in the economic recovery."

Specific results by merchandise category included: clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted over June and 6.2% unadjusted year-over-year; sales at electronic and appliance stores increased 1.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month but decreased 0.7% unadjusted from last year; health-and-personal-care stores sales increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted over June and 2.1% unadjusted year-over-year; and building material and garden equipment and supplies stores sales increased 1.4% seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 3.6% unadjusted year-over-year.

July retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales, which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

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