by Brian Lipton

nrf shoppingRetail sales in July increased by 0.6 percent over June on a seasonally adjusted basis, triple the revised 0.2 percent growth seen in June, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation. Sales increased by 3.5 percent year-over-year, a continuation of the growth seen in June and long-term trends.

The results were mixed for clothing and accessories stores, which decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from June but increased 0.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year. However, inline and other non-store sales increased 1.3 percent seasonally adjusted over June and increased 11.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year; general merchandise stores increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted over June and increased 1.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year; and sporting goods stores increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June but decreased 5.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumer spending remains solid as retail sales saw healthy improvements in July and revised June numbers were also positive,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We have yet to see the full effect of back-to-school spending, but pickup in spending was evident both online and in general merchandise, which includes bricks-and-mortar department stores. Rising home values are encouraging home-improvement spending and home-related retail purchases.”