Retail sales increased more than expected in July, buoying hopes that consumers are regaining confidence.
The monthly report from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed a 0.8 percent uptick in total sales from last month and a 4.1 percent increase from July of last year, breaking three months of decline. This is the largest increase in retail sales since February.
"Despite high unemployment and political and fiscal uncertainty, consumers are spending again, albeit cautiously," says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, National Retail Federation. "Retail sales continue to remain resilient in the face of bleak international news, with retailers on track with sustained sales growth year-over-year and year-to-date. Retail sales will continue to see modest growth in the fall and winter."