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U.S. retail sales grow above expectations in August
U.S. retail sales grew at a modest pace in August. On a sequential basis, retail sales rose 0.4 percent, but above consensus expectations of a rise of 0.2 percent. The rise in August was comparatively concentrated within a few important categories. Gains were recorded in motor vehicles & parts dealers, building materials & garden equipment stores, sporting goods and health & personal care. In the meantime, several other categories like clothing, department stores, food and beverages and furniture saw sales fall.
Non-store retailers continued to make healthy gains in August. Sales rose 14.3 percent year-on-year as online shopping continues to deliver more of the consumer basket. The control group, which excludes gasoline stations, auto sales, building materials and food services, recorded a sound rise of 0.3 percent.
Consumer spending appears to be on track to be the most rapid growing segment of the economy in the third quarter, tracking 3.5 percent to 4 percent annualized, said TD Economics in a research report.
“With financial market volatility, trade wars and recession chatter really heating up in August, the coming months will be critical to test the resiliency of the U.S. consumer”, added TD Economics.