Recession fears may have plagued stock markets, but it certainly didn’t stop shoppers opening their wallets last month as they splurged on Amazon Prime Day deals.
Retail sales rose 0.7 percent in July, beating Wall Street estimates of 0.3 percent, according to the Commerce Department. When volatile items such as gasoline were removed, the numbers were even better — up 1 percent.
“With the Rest of the World sliding into the abyss, the July retail sales figures show a resurgent U.S. consumer riding to the rescue once again,” Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said.
Amazon Prime Day likely played a big part. Online and other non-store sales were up 2.8 percent month-on-month and 19.3 percent on the year, according to the National Retail Federation’s analysis of the official data.
But Pearce stressed even though the surge in retail sales in July was flattered by Amazon Prime Day spending and a rise in gasoline prices, “there’s no denying that underlying consumption growth remains strong, which should prevent the weakness in manufacturing and business investment from dragging the U.S. economy into recession any time soon.”
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