August retail sales show little change from July, according to Commerce and NRF data

Based on data from the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales numbers remain in a holding pattern.

Latest News

Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
The State of the DC Voice Market
Convey survey drives home importance of efficient holiday deliveries
Diesel average sees slight decline
Bolloré Logistics partners with OroCommerce in B2B Ecommerce Deal
More News

Latest Resource

The Essential Guide to High Value, Low TCO WMS on the Fast Track
A warehouse could become your weakest link if you can’t execute with speed and accuracy. Your bottom line will be negatively impacted, so will your customer’s experience, and they are only one click away from buying from your competitors!
All Resources
By ·

Based on data from the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales numbers remain in a holding pattern.

August retail sales, which include non-general merchandise like automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants, were $389.5 billion which closely mirrors July and are up 7.2 percent increase compared to August 2010, according to Commerce data. Commerce said that total retail sales from June through August were up 7.9 percent annually.

According to NRF data, June retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, were up 0.1 percent from July on a seasonally-adjusted basis and up 6.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

These minimal gains reflect an increasingly gloomy economic outlook, due in large part to consumers continuing to spend only on essential items, and high unemployment levels, among other factors.

“August retail sales mirror August employment figures – zero growth,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. “Consumer spending has stalled, and it will be important for consumers to see positive changes in the economic outlook going into the fourth quarter. While we’re not expecting a complete pull back in spending, the outlook remains modest in terms of growth.”

As Modern has reported, in conjunction with flat retail sales is an ostensible stalling in freight growth to a certain degree as evidenced by recent reports from the American Trucking Associations and Cass Information Systems. Reports in recent months from both concerns show that freight growth is in a holding pattern brought on by high fuel prices, a crippled housing market, and lack of meaningful job growth, among other factors.

And with a recent lull in fuel prices there still remains a distinct possibility that retail sales will remain at current levels in the coming months. Freight volumes, specifically on the trucking side, are displaying volumes that are still well below pre-recession levels.

“We still have a troubled and worried consumer, meaning that a large amount of Americans were spending more than they earned over the last decade or two,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, in a recent interview.

Leamer noted that it is only natural that consumers are doing some belt-tightening, which is a good thing. But while that is happening he said consumers are not the locomotive that is pulling the economy forward.”

Charles W. “Chuck” Clowdis, Jr., Managing Director-Transportation Advisory Services, at IHS Global Insight, agreed with Leaner, telling Modern that if people believe consumer sentiment has to drive a full recovery, then “we are moving the wrong way.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
The Essential Guide to High Value, Low TCO WMS on the Fast Track
A warehouse could become your weakest link if you can’t execute with speed and accuracy. Your bottom line will be negatively impacted, so will your customer’s experience, and they are only one click away from buying from your competitors!
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships into true, collaborative partnerships—and greatly strengthened its logistics and supply chain operations in the process.
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: 2017 Awards Dinner
Trucking Regulations: Washington U-Turns; States put hammer down
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Make Your Products Smarter in the Supply Chain with the IoT
This webinar explores how temperature-sensing smart labels and inexpensive NFC tags are being used to extend product safety and efficiency beyond the shipping dock while also building a communication bridge to your customers.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...