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Aug. CE/Majap Sales Up 1.5%: Commerce

9/19/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

WASHINGTON — CE and appliance dealers
eked out a 1.5 percent sales gain in August
for a total take of $8.5 billion, according to
preliminary estimates by the U.S. Commerce
Department.

Sales rose a more modest 0.5 percent from July.

The monthly figures, which are compiled by the
U.S. Census Bureau, were adjusted for seasonal
variations and holiday and trading-day differences,
but not for price changes.

In comparison, total retail sales excluding restaurants
and car dealers and auto parts stores rose 7.5
percent in August and 0.1 percent from July.

“Consumer spending in August was tempered
by a continued lack of confidence in the strength of our economy,” observed Matthew Shay, president/
CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF), a retail
trade group. “Having carried the brunt of the economic
recovery so far, consumers may be waiting for good news
in terms of employment and market stability, cautiously
spending on things they need and thinking twice about
things they want.”

Added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, “August
retail sales [month over month] mirror August employment
figures – zero growth. 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.”