Washington – Retail sales rose 1.7 percent in August for electronics and appliance specialty stores, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
According to the agency’s monthly retail sales estimates, sell-through reached $8.8 billion for the channel last month and crept up 0.7 percent from July.
By comparison, August sales increased 3 percent for furniture and home-furnishings dealers and 7.1 percent for e-tailers and other direct sellers, while total retail sales rose 4.8 percent excluding the food and auto segments.
The sales figures, which cover the key back-to-school shopping period, were adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade group, called the results “encouraging,” especially for the CE channel.
“August sales figures signal that consumers are willing and ready to spend as the economy improves,” he said. “By and large merchants had a strong finish to the back-to-school season, especially those selling clothing and electronics.”
He cautioned, however, “We should not expect a sustained surge in spending” until income levels rise at a faster pace.