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Economy in Brief

U.S. E-Commerce Sales Strengthen in Q2'22
by Tom Moeller  August 19, 2022

• Sales improve for third straight quarter.

• Increase in sales is broad-based.

Online retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 2.7% (6.8% y/y) last quarter following a 2.6% Q1 gain and a 1.6% rise in Q4'21, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. E-Commerce sales accounted for 14.5% of total retail sales in Q2'22 and has been steady at that level since 2020.

Sales of nonstore retailers, which accounted for 56.7% of total E-Commerce, rose 10.9% last quarter (NSA, +8.9% y/y) following a 16.3% decline in Q1. General merchandise store sales improved 9.5% (3.7% y/y) after falling 26.2% in Q1. Clothing accessory store sales improved 7.1% (6.8% y/y) after falling 30.2%. Sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument & book sales advanced 5.5% (10.4% y/y) after declining 28.7%. Sales of furniture & home furnishings improved 5.0% (5.2% y/y) after a 15.6% decline. Food & beverage purchases fell 4.2% (-0.3% y/y) following a 3.6% Q1 decline. Building materials & garden equipment sales surged 27.3% (23.2% y/y) after falling 8.0%. Miscellaneous sales including gasoline stations rose 10.5% (17.2% y/y) after easing 0.9% in Q1. Electronics & appliance store sales declined 9.1% (5.2% y/y) after declining 31.6% earlier in the year. Motor vehicle & parts sales strengthened 4.4% (0.8% y/y) following a 2.4% rise.

These details of the E-Commerce data by sector are not seasonally adjusted.

E-commerce sales are goods and services ordered over an Internet, mobile device (M-commerce), extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other comparable online system. Payment may or may not be made online and sometimes sale & price are negotiated. Total sales estimates are adjusted for seasonal variation, but not for price changes. They are also adjusted for trading-day differences and moving holidays.

The retail sales and retail E-Commerce sales data can be found in Haver's USECON database.

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