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Rise in Retail Sales in the U.S. Raise Inflation Risk



Shopping and entertainment, mall inside | US Retail Sales Up Despite Higher Inflation Rate | featured

Retail sales in the United States increased significantly more than forecasted in July, increasing the likelihood that demand-driven inflation will continue or even accelerate and lowering the likelihood that a recession will occur soon.

According to figures released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.7 percent in July, the largest increase in six months. Gain for the previous month was increased from 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent.

Analysts had predicted a far more modest improvement of 0.4 percent.

Around one-third of consumer expenditure is on retail sales. Retail sales growth has slowed recently as consumer spending has returned to its more balanced tilt toward services after the pandemic's imbalanced tilt toward spending on commodities.

Retail sales are frequently seen as a trustworthy indicator of the health of the American economy. The increase in July implies that consumers are still in a bullish frame of mind and that there is still a high demand for products, possibly buoyed by the continuing strength of the labor market and the drop in inflation.

Nonetheless, the increase in retail sales runs the risk of reviving inflationary pressures. It implies that future reductions in inflation may be slower and more erratic than the decline from last year's roughly nine percent rate, which was a decades-high rate. The consumer price index increased by 3.2 percent in July when compared to the same month last year, while the core CPI—which excludes the cost of gasoline and food—rose by 4.7 percent.

Retail sales increased by an even greater 1% when automobiles are excluded, a significant increase over the 0.2 % increase in June and well beyond the consensus projection of a 0.4 % increase. Sales for the month increased by 1% when petrol and autos are excluded, beating predictions of a 4% increase and a 3% increase, respectively.

Sales in the so-called “control group” increased by 1%, which was also higher than forecasts and the previous month's number. Receipts from petrol stations, office supply businesses, mobile home parks, and vendors of building supplies are not included in the control group. It is used to calculate personal consumption expenditures, which feed estimates of gross domestic product, and is seen as a better indicator of consumer spending.

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