According to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday, consumers are still shopping. Retail trade sales were unchanged from June to July but were up 10.1% over last year.
“Retail sales were up considerably compared with a year ago even though consumers are more discerning in this economic environment,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumer spending was an encouraging signal as the economy kicked off the third quarter. Nonetheless, inflation is still disturbingly high even as it eases and is the most important challenge for consumers and retailers. The future path of inflation remains a key factor for the economy and monetary policy as the Federal Reserve works to bring price increases under control.”