According to new data, USA retail sales rose unexpectedly in August. This is probably due to back-to-school purchases and child allowances paid to households. It may temper predictions for a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the third quarter.
Despite a continued decline in car sales and the Delta variant that slowed down the traffic in some stores, retail sales in August in the USA rebounded unexpectedly.
The food and beverage industry benefited in August as consumers shunned bars and restaurants.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that total sales rose 0.7% from June to $618.7 billion. Analysts were expecting a decline of 0.7 percent. Sales were 15.1% above the August 2020 level.
Meanwhile, July’s sales were revised, and the decline was greater than expected, at -1.8% instead of -1.1%.
With these figures, we can gauge the health of the world’s largest economy, which is largely driven by consumption.
Automobile sales once again struggled in August. This was a less drastic drop than the 4.6% decline recorded the month prior.
Global shortages of semiconductors continue to impede production, driving up prices, which may also have discouraged some potential buyers.
While restaurants and bars had seen patronage rebound in prior months due to the vaccination, they suffered this time due to the Delta variant, and their sales were flat compared to July.
Food and beverage stores are benefiting from consumers once again shunning bars and restaurants. Sales went down in July, but grew in August (1.8% over one month).
The furniture and decoration industries have also seen an increase (+3.4%).
Furthermore, online sales, which had suffered in July, are back on the rise (+5.3%).
Some purchases are restricted due to high prices. While inflation remained high in August (+0.3% over one month, +5.3% over one year), it has shown signs of slowing down, according to the Labor Department’s CPI index.