NRF's numbers are based on data from the US Census Bureau, which said that overall August sales – including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants – were up 0.4 per cent seasonally adjusted from July and up 4.1 per cent unadjusted year-over-year.
Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 2.3 per cent year-over-year but down 0.9 per cent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
"While consumer attitudes about the economy indicate some retreating optimism, the bottom line is that consumer spending remained resilient in August and continued to be a key contributor to US economic growth," NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Trends remain strong, but August grew somewhat slower than July, which could reflect consumers' concerns about the unpredictability of trade policy. It is too early to assess the impact of the new tariffs that took effect at the beginning of this month, but they do present downside risks to household spending."
New 15 percent tariffs on a wide range of consumer goods from China took effect from September 1 and are scheduled to be expanded to additional goods on December 15, covering a total of about $300 billion in imports. In addition, 25 per cent tariffs already in effect on $250 billion worth of imports are set to increase to 30 per cent on October 15. (PC)
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