NAICS 444 sales slipped to $43.700 billion in July, down from $48.198 billion in June, based on the unadjusted numbers reported in the Department of Commerce’s monthly sales report released Wednesday morning.
Retailers classified as NACIS 444– covering building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, including hardware stores and lumberyards — so far this year have amassed a seven-month total of $299.927 billion in sales, that’s up 6.3 percent from the first seven months of 2021.
On an adjusted basis taking into account seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences (but not for price changes), July’s 444 sales increased slightly over June.
Meanwhile, overall retail sales in July are running 10.3 percent above July of 2021. Gasoline stations led the growth, up 39.9 percent. Nonstore retailers were up 20.2 percent.
The National Retail Federation looked at the big picture and saw consumers continuing to shop, despite inflation.
“Retail sales were up considerably compared with a year ago even though consumers are more discerning in this economic environment,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumer spending was an encouraging signal as the economy kicked off the third quarter. Nonetheless, inflation is still disturbingly high even as it eases and is the most important challenge for consumers and retailers. The future path of inflation remains a key factor for the economy and monetary policy as the Federal Reserve works to bring price increases under control.”