Future consumer spending could be impacted by the stock market and tariffs, but that wasn’t the case in July. Unadjusted year-over-year retail sales rose 5.6 percent for the month, a figure the National Retail Federation says is consistent with the state of consumer confidence and the healthy labor market.
“But it’s important to remember that today’s data is looking backward at what was happening a month ago,” cautioned the trade group’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The impact of volatile financial markets and increased trade tension may put a wind of caution in consumer spending as we move forward in 2019.”
Sales in sporting goods stores rose 2 percent year-over-year in July, according to the monthly sales data released by the U.S. Commerce Dept. Clothing and apparel accessory store sales were off 1.6 percent year-over-year. The biggest segment sales gainer for the month was online and other non-store sales, which increased 19.3 percent compared with the year prior, likely bolstered by Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale.