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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Disappoint
by Tom Moeller August 11, 2005

US retail sales jumped another 1.8% last month, about matching Consensus expectations, following a similar gain in June that was little revised. The figure was a disappointment, however, because without autos and gasoline sales last month were unchanged after increasing 0.7% in June, revised up from 0.6%.

Motor vehicle & parts dealers' sales jumped 6.7% (17.9% y/y) as successful price discounting programs lifted unit sales 19.0% m/m to a 20.9M selling rate.

Sales at gasoline service stations added 2.4% (20.3% y/y) to the 2.0% rise in June as gasoline prices jumped 6.2% m/m to an average $2.29 per gallon.

Sales at furniture & electronics stores gave back 0.2% (3.9% y/y) of a 1.3% June surge which was double the rise estimated initially. General merchandise store sales also took a breadth and were unchanged following a 1.3% (7.0% y/y) June surge that was little revised. Falling 0.5% (+6.9% y/y), apparel store sales retraced about half of the prior month's 1.1% increase.

Building material store sales fell 0.4% (8.4% y/y) following two months of 0.3% increase.

Sales of nonstore retailers (internet and catalogue) slipped 0.1% (+11.3% y/y) after a 2.7% jump in June that was revised up sharply.

  July June Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Retail Sales & Food Services 1.8% 1.7% 10.3% 7.2% 4.3% 2.5%
  Excluding Autos 0.3% 0.9% 8.1% 8.3% 4.7% 3.3%
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