US retail sales jump in July led by gasoline stations and online purchases
The American consumer continued to splash out at a faster than expected clip over the summer.
According to the Department of Commerce, US retail sales volumes grew at a 0.7% month-on-month pace in August to reach $532.35bn.
Economists had forecast an increase of 0.2%, although the previous month's rise was marked down by a tenth of a percentage point to 0.3%.
Sales of motor vehicles and parts meanwhile declined by 0.6% in comparison to June to $109.21bn, but those at gasoline stations jumped by 1.8% over the month to reach $46.5bn and those at non-store retailers by 2.8% to $64.79bn.
Food and beverage stores also saw brisk activity, with sales rising by 0.6% to $66.45bn while those at general merchandise stores increased by 0.6% to $58.36bn.
Excluding those of motor vehicles and parts and at gasoline stations, retail sales jumped by 0.9% on the month.
In comparison to a year ago, retail sales were up by 3.4%.
"The continued surge in retail sales in July was probably flattered by Amazon Prime Day spending and a rise in gasoline prices last month. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that consumption growth remains strong, which should prevent the weakness in manufacturing and business investment from dragging the economy into recession any time soon," said Capital Economics's Michael Pearce.
Pantheon Macroeconomics's Ian Shepherdson chipped in saying: "The consumer, in short, remains in very good shape, starting the third quarter on a very solid note. Gains at this pace can't be sustained—control sales rose 9.9% annualized in the three months to July, compared to the previous three months, about double the pace of income growth—but we see zero evidence that the consumer is being dragged down by the troubles in manufacturing."