US retails sales fell to lower than expected in Aug

Sales at U.S. retailers fell 0.3% in August and declined for the first time in five months, as store traffic dropped off for most stores. Forex and financial experts and economists had forecast a 0.1% decline. U.S. Retail sales have zig-zagged for months. Some segments such as online shopping have been doing great, while more traditional sellers such as department stores have fared poorly. Read all about the US Retail Sales Aug 2016 below.

US Retail Sales Aug 2016

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Receipts at auto dealers slipped 0.9% in a disappointing month that spurred some industry leaders to predict sales are unlikely to top last year’s record. Sales surged in the past few years as millions of Americans upgraded to new cars and trucks to replace aging vehicles they had held onto in the wake of a devastating recession.

Sales at gas stations fell 0.8% last month, reflecting a decline in prices that often takes place near the end of the summer driving season. That’s a good thing for consumers, though, giving them more cash to spend on other goods and services.

Sales also declined 1.4% at home-improvement centers and 0.6% at department stores that have been locked in a losing battle with online competition.

Sales even fell for internet sellers and mail-order companies for the first time since the start of 2015.

Only restaurants and apparel stores, helped by back-to-school demand, showed much strength. Restaurant sales increased 0.9% and clothing receipts climbed 0.7%, the largest gain since late last year.

Despite the dropoff in retail sales, most economists predict the improved finances of American households will help increase spending in the final months of 2016. That could give the economy a shot in the arm after lackluster growth in the first half of the year.

Broader measures of household health such as overall consumer spending has been somewhat stronger owing to rising incomes and steady hiring. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 4.9% in August and inflation-adjusted household incomes rose in 2015 for the first time since the Great Recession, government figures show.

Retail sales were revised to show a small 0.1% increase in July instead of no change. The increase in June was reduced by a notch to 0.7%. ForexSQ experts use Marketwatch as source.

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