With inflation and employment reports monopolizing headlines, sometimes we have to simply ask, “how’s business?” Per today’s advance retail sales numbers for July, it’s not bad. The 0.7% increase in sales far outstripped expectations.
Excluding autos and gas, sales were up a solid 1.0%, matching the growth in “control group” sales, used to calculate Gross Domestic Product. The increase in sales was broad-based, except at motor vehicle and parts dealers, furniture stores, electronics and appliance stores, and miscellaneous other retailers, which saw sales drop from June.
It is worth noting that this set of retail sales data is not adjusted for inflation. While the growth supports the idea that a soft landing is possible, it also gives the Federal Reserve room to act if required to control inflation.
Outlook for manufacturing contraction continues in New York
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