NATIONAL NEWS

Retail sales rise 0.7% in July from June as inflation continues to ease

Aug 15, 2023, 5:45 AM

Items are displayed in a boutique along Tennyson Street Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in northwest Denver...

Items are displayed in a boutique along Tennyson Street Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in northwest Denver. The Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for July. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans increased their spending last month as inflation continued to ease on eggs, electronics and other items, and the job market remains healthy.

Retail sales rose a better-than-expected 0.7% in July from June. The gain followed a revised 0.3% gain the previous month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Excluding autos and gas, sales rose a solid 1%.

Sales at a number of different outlets increased. Department stores posted a 0.9% increase, while clothing and accessories stores had a 1% gain. At restaurants, sales rose 1.4%. while online sales rose 1.9%. But furniture and home furnishings stores and electronics stores remained weak, registering declines.

The uptick reflects the economy’s resiliency despite a still challenging economic environment of still high prices and higher interest rates that make borrowing on credit cards and getting a mortgage for a home more expensive. Yet spending has been volatile this year after surging nearly 3% in January. Sales tumbled in February and March before recovering in April and May.

The report comes as inflation has cooled but not enough to meet the Federal Reserve’s target rate.

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Retail sales rise 0.7% in July from June as inflation continues to ease