- Retail sales increase 0.7% in Augustt
- Core retail sales increase 2.5%; July revised downwards
- Unemployed weekly inions increase from 20,000 to 332,000
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (Hfrance.fr) - Retail sales in the United States unexpectedly increased in August, likely boosted by back-to-school purchases and government child tax credit payments, which could temper the expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the third quarter.
The surprise rebound in retail sales reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday defied the declining consumer confidence. Sales were driven by an increase in online shopping, which offset a continued decline at car dealerships. But sales in July were much lower than initially expected.
The economistses have downgraded their gross domestic product estimates for the current quarter, citing slump in motor vehicle sales, which are the result of a severe shortage of inventory and a spike in infections to COVID-19 fueled by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
"US consumption is not slowing down as quickly as it was a month ago despite the drop stimulus, and the Delta variant didn't affect the industries that fuel retail sales much, "said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York." The economy continued to buzz in August. "
Retail sales rose 0.7% last month. Data for July has been revised down to show that retail sales fell 1.8% instead of 1.1% as previously reported. Economists polled by Hfrance.fr predicted retail sales would fall by 0,8%. Sales increased 15.1% from a year ago and are 17.7% above their pre-pandemic level.
They hold up even as expenses shift from goods to services such as travel and entertainment. Retail sales are primarily goods, with services such as healthcare, education, travel, and hotel accommodation making up the remaining portion of consumer spending.
Online retail sales rebounded 5.3% after falling 4.6% in July. Most school districts began their 2021-2022 school year in August, with learning resumed after last year's switch to online classes due to the pandemic.
Eligible households began receiving cash in mid-July under the Expanded Child Tax Credit program, which iswill continue until December. Clothing store sales edged up 0.1% last month. Receipts at building supplies and furniture stores rose sharply.
But sales at car dealerships fell 3.6% after declining 4.6% in July. cing is forcing automakers to cut production.
The semiconductor crisis, which was made worse by the latest wave of COVID-19, is also causing shortages of some electronic products.
There are also traffic jams at ports in China. Sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 3.1%. There was also a decline in revenue at sporting, hobby, musical instrument and book stores.
With the increase in infectionsns to coronavirus, the flow of traffic to restaurants and bars ebbs, keeping sales flat. Restaurants and bars are the only service category in the retail sales report.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales rebounded 2.5% last month after declining 1.9% in July.
These sales at so-called basic detail most closely correspond to the consumer expenditure component of GDP. They were previously estimated to have fallen 1.0% in July.
People wearing protective masks shop in Macy 's Herald Square following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York, New York, States -Unis, December 26, 2020. Hfrance.fr/Jeenah Moon / File Photo
Shares on Wall Street were trading lower. The dollar (.DXY) increased against a basket of currencies.u US Treasury fell.
The National Retail Federation has said higher sales despite headwinds reflect the continued strength of the US consumer and the resilience of retailers nationwide.
"We maintain our confidence in the historic strength for consumers and expect a record year for retail sales and a strong holiday season for retailers, "said NRF President Matthew Shay.
Americans are sitting on at least $ 2.5 trillion in excess savings accumulated during the pandemic. Wages are rising as companies scramble to fill a record 10.9 million job openings.
A separate report from the Ministry of Labor showed on Thursday that initial requests for alloUnemployment cations have increased. 20,000 to 332,000 seasonally adjusted for the week ended September 11.
Claims were likely amplified by Hurricane Ida, which devastated the offshore power generation from the United States and cut off electricity in Louisiana. Ida also inundated the Mississippi and caused historic flooding in New York and New Jersey.
The number of people continuing to receive benefits after a first Aid week fell from 187,000 to 2.665 million during the week ended September 4, the lowest level since mid-March 2020. The expiration of federally funded benefits at the start of this week months is expected to increase the labor pool.
"There is no evidence here that the upsurge in COVID-related cases to the Delta variant forces a downturn in the economy "Conrad saidDeQuadros, senior economic adviser at Brean Capital in New York.
A third report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed that its business activity index jumped to 30.7 in September from 19.4 in August. A reading greater than zero indicates manufacturing growth in the region, which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.
Manufacturers have signaled moderation in input prices, which agrees with recent data suggesting inflation has likely peaked. They also increased hours for workers as they struggled to find manpower. Although expectations have moderated, automakers were optimistic about economic conditions over the next six months.
Sales of in-tank motor vehicles and the diffCorporate efforts to rebuild their inventories prompted economists to sharply cut their GDP growth estimates for the third quarter. A fourth Commerce Department report on Thursday showed inventory build-up slowed in July. learn more
On Wednesday, economists at JPMorgan again slashed their forecast third-quarter GDP growth to an annualized rate of 5.0% from 7.0%. The Federal Reserve "Beige Book " report last week showed that "economic growth slowed slightly to a moderate pace from early July to August.
But after the release of the retail sales report on Thursday, economists at Morgan Stanley raised their estimate of third-quarter GDP growth to 5.0% conbe 3.3%. Goldman Sachs raised its forecast at a rate of 4.5% from 3.5%, after lowering it to 5.25% at the start of the month.
The economy grew at a rate of 6.6% in the second quarter. Reporting by Lucia Mutikani Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao
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