PhotoRetail sales rose a tepid 0.2% in August, disappointing analysts, including those at who were looking for a much stronger showing of an 0.4% gain. Sales in July were revised higher to show an advance of 0.4% rather than the 0.2% initially reported.

The August advance was paced by a rise of 0.9% in Auto sales following the July drop of 0.5%. Analysts at say they expected a better number, given the August motor vehicle report, which was the strongest for that month since 2003.

Excluding autos, overall retail sales were up just 0.1%.

Other areas of strength in August were furniture and home furnishings (+0.9), electronics and appliances (+0.8%) and health and personal care (+0.6).

Those were partially offset by declines in sales of building materials and garden supplies (-0.9%)., clothing and accessories (-0.8%) and sporting goods, hobbies and books (-0.5).

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist Sterne Agee, calls the August report “disappointing.” And she isn't particularly optimistic about the future. “Consumption has been lackluster volleying at a near 2% rate through the first half of the year,” she notes. “With income growth of less than 1% and waning momentum in the jobs market, consumption is likely to falter further.”

The complete retail sales report for August can be found on the Census Bureau website.

Share your Comments