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CE Aug. Retail Sales Down: NRF

Washington – The National Retail Federation (NRF) is crediting a strong back-to-school selling season for boosting retail sales in August.

However, NRF data said CE and appliance stores suffered a 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-over-month drop in sales. However, unadjusted year-over-year sales were up 2.1 percent

Despite continuing high levels of unemployment, stagnant incomes and other potential financial problems, consumers are still showing strength, the NRF said.

Overall, retail sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from July.

“While retailers continue to witness sustained sales growth, consumers remain cautious about their discretionary expenditures,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers have carried much of the growth during the economic recovery, despite high food and gas costs. Though the economy isn’t backsliding, growth continues to be a sore point.”