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US Consumer Spending Robust Amid Trade War

Strong job market led to continued buyer confidence, NRF says.
Aug 22, 2019 7:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... US retail sales increased in July, as consumer confidence remained strong despite fears over the escalating trade war.

Total purchases— excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — rose 0.9% compared with June sales and 5.6% year on year, according to data the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported, citing the US Census Bureau. Online and other non-store sales climbed 19% year on year, the NRF noted.

“July’s strong results are consistent with a confident consumer,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said last week. “Households are in good shape with spending and that should continue as long as the labor market remains healthy.”

However, the numbers reflect the period before US President Donald Trump’s implementation of the most recent set of tariffs. While some taxes on consumer goods imported from China have been delayed until December 15, it was announced earlier this month that levies on other items would go into effect September 1.

“It’s important to remember that today’s data is looking backward at what was happening a month ago,” Kleinhenz explained. “The impact of volatile financial markets and increased trade tensions in recent weeks may put a wind of caution in consumer spending as we move forward in 2019.”

Image: A woman paying for purchases at a store. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Jack Kleinhenz, National Retail Federation, NRF, Rapaport News, US Census Bureau, US retail
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