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WRAPUP 1-US retail sales post biggest increase in seven months

17 August 2017

By category, the biggest gain was in online and other non-store sales, which increased 1.3% over June and 11.4% year-over-year.

Michael Pearce, at Capital Economics, said: "Consumption began the third quarter on a strong footing".

"Admittedly, that was in part due to a 1.3% surge in non-store sales, presumably reflecting Amazon's Prime Day, which reportedly saw U.S. orders rise 50% from the same event a year ago".

Excluding sales of autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, so called "core sales" surged 0.6% last month following an upwardly revised 0.1% increase in June.

In addition, the retail sales figures for June were revised to show a 0.3% rise instead of the previous estimate of a 0.2% drop. The revised numbers reflected newly incorporated sales data. Receipts at department stores were up by the most in six months, and purchases increased the most since February at sporting goods retailers and building-supply outlets.

"With consumer confidence at firm levels, employment continuing to rise and wages showing some evidence of picking up we remain optimistic on the prospects for consumer spending", said James Knightley chief worldwide economist at ING.

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Shares in Coach sank 15% after the handbag maker's full-year sales forecast fell short of analysts' expectations.

Long-suffering department stores likewise showed signs of life. Prices could decline further as a separate report from the Labor Department on Tuesday showed the cost of imported motor vehicles fell in July for the second consecutive month.

Furniture and home furnishings stores outperformed the broader retail sector with a 5.6% jump in sales over the same month past year, according to the latest government report.

Amazon also played a role as its annual Prime Day promotion last month contributed to a 1.3% jump in sales at online retailers.

Electronics and appliances stores decreased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from June and decreased 1.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

WRAPUP 1-US retail sales post biggest increase in seven months