Retail Sales Gain Modestly in August

WASHINGTON-U.S. retailers chalked up $406.7 billion in sales in August, 4.7 percent ahead of August 2011 and 0.9 percent higher than July, according to the National Retail Federation.

Among the channels that sell home furnishings, furniture and home furnishings stores registered a healthy 8.4 percent increase in sales over August of last year, and a 0.09 percent higher than July.

Among the channels that sell home furnishings, furniture and home furnishings stores registered a healthy 8.4 percent increase in sales over August of last year, and a 0.3 percent pickup over July. General-merchandise store sales lost ground last month--down 0.8 percent from August 2011 and off 0.3 percent from July. Department stores (excluding leased departments) rose 0.1 percent both year over year and month over month.

According to the National Retail Federation, the August pickup came about because of back-to-school. However, according to NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, shoppers are continually cautious about discretionary expenditures.

"Consumers have carried much of the growth during the economic recovery, despite high food and gas costs," Kleinhenz said. "Though the economy isn't backsliding, growth continues to be a sore point."

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.

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