Retail sales were unchanged (0%) in August as consumers in the U.S. reacted to a weak job market and volatile financial markets. This report follows 0.3% growth in July.
Non-auto sales posted a small 0.1% gain, down from July’s 0.2% increase. Sales excluding autos, building materials and gasoline were also unchanged. The weakness was broad based as most retail segments saw little sales growth between July and August.
The miscellaneous and clothing retailers saw the biggest drop, falling 2.2% and 0.7% respectively.
ABA's Chief Economist James Chessen commented, “August proved to be a difficult month for both consumers and the economy. With unemployment above 9%, volatile financial markets, and weak income growth, optimism is in short supply and buying decisions are put on hold.”
Read the report.