National Retail Federation (NRF) chief economist Jack Kleinhenz explains that retail sales had been slowing down, but July witnessed a revival thanks to “the special deal days orchestrated by several retailers”.
After a period of dwindling sales, the US retail sector witnessed a revival in July, powered by Amazon’s Prime Day, a flurry of enticing promotions from various brands, and an increase in wages, according to the NRF.
The US Census Bureau reports retail sales for July doubled with a 0.7% increase compared to June and up 3.2% year over year.
NRF explains its calculation of retail sales, which focuses on core retail by excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, reveals July was up 1% seasonally adjusted from June and up 3.8% unadjusted year over year. Plus, June sales were up 0.3% month over month and 3.2% year over year.
Kleinhenz says the results suggest households responded positively to the special deal days offered by multiple retailers and led to more than double the previous monthly gain.
Two months ago Kleinhenz predicted that although the economic indicators were giving conflicting signs, the US was heading toward a soft landing from the high inflation and high-interest rates of the past two years.
The July retail sales figures reflected the resilience of consumers as they drove the economy forward, supported by consistent job growth and rising wages, notes NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.
He continues: “Retailers remain focused on providing essential items at competitive prices for families and students as we approach the end of an expected record back-to-class shopping season.”
Kleinhenz supports Shay’s point by adding: “It’s worth noting that the strong year-over-year gain came partly because sales accelerated this July but were decelerating at the same time last year.”