Retail sales gain in line with expectations

Retail sales grew right in line with expectations in July, and prior estimates were revised higher.

The data from the Census Bureau showed that retail sales gained 0.6% month-on-month, and 0.4% excluding the volatile auto and gas categories — just what economists had forecast, according to Bloomberg.

There were gains across most categories except gas, appliances, and department stores. The biggest jump compared to last year came from food services and drinking places, or restaurants and bars, at 9%.

Year-over-year, retail sales grew 2.4%.

Retail sales in June were not as bad as we thought. After initial estimates of -0.1% month-on-month and -0.2% year-on-year, the data were revised up to 0.4% and 0.2% respectively.

“In one line: Robust, especially taking hefty upward revisions into account,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a note to clients after the report. “This report looks solid after a run of disappointing numbers, and it bolsters the case for a Sep rate hike, at the margin.”

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