US retail sales jump past forecasts in August
American consumers retrenched less than feared last month despite the impact from the Delta variant of Covid-19.
According to the Department of Commerce, US retail sales volumes increased at a month-on-month pace of 0.7% in July, easily beating economists' forecasts for a drop of about 0.8%.
In comparison to the same month of 2020 meanwhile, US retail sales were ahead by 15.1%.
The good news was tempered by a downwards revision to the prior month's reading from a monthly fall of 1.1% to -1.8%.
Nevertheless, excluding sales of motor vehicles and parts, and gasoline stations, retail sales jumped by 2.0% on the month and 14.3% in annual terms.
Non-store retailers did especially well, likely on the back of Covid-19, with sales rising by 5.3% on the month, followed by a 3.7% in furniture sales, a 3.5% increase in those at general merchandise stories, and a 1.8% increase in those of food and beverage stores.
Motor vehicles and parts dealers on the other hand saw their sales decline by 3.6% on the month while gas station sales grew 0.2%.