Retail Sales Gains in July Bring End to Three Month Slide
Arlington, VA – According to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail sales gains exceeded expectations in July. The gains marked a strong turnaround following three consecutive months of sales declines, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
Monthly retail sales figures for July totaled $403.9 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent over the previous month, and 4.1 percent over July 2011.
“Following three months of disappointing sales, skittish consumers returned to stores in July,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “Retailers adjustments to product assortments and pricing are paying off as budget-conscious consumers opened their wallets again last month.”
Remarkably, all retail segments reported gains in July. General merchandizers saw a 0.7 percent increase over June, while sporting goods and furniture retailers reported growth of 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.
Retailers, however, remain concerned about the impact that economic and regulatory issues could have on consumers in the months ahead. Last week, RILA urged President Obama and Governor Romney to focus on the impending fiscal cliff and to advance policies in the coming months that will promote a robust and vibrant retail industry.
“The vibrant economy we all seek cannot exist without a robust retail industry,” said Kennedy. “Consumers remain highly sensitive to economic news and policy debates that threaten their financial security. Continued high unemployment and the prospects of reaching the fiscal cliff later this year will continue to weigh on the minds of consumers as they consider their spending in the months to come.”
RILA is the trade association of the worlds’ largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.