U.S. retail sales grew more than expected, despite concerns that consumers would shop less amid escalating coronavirus cases.
August retail sales grew 0.7%, versus the estimated -0.7%. This is a reversal from July’s decline of -1.1%.
Economists had expected a drop in car sales that would keep retail sales in the red. Car sales did drop, but a spike in other types of goods rose far more than expected.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas rose 1.8%, compared to 0% expected and -0.7% in July.
The news suggests that Americans are shopping again, after a pause in July. It’s an encouraging statistic and suggests America may have an easier time getting through economic challenges associated with the variant than China.
Catastrophic Retail Data From China
Indeed, on Tuesday, retail sales in China grew by just 2.5%, far slower than the expected 7%.
This was largely due to the harsh “zero-tolerance” policy aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In early trading Thursday, U.S. markets remained unimpressed with the news. The dow was barely higher while the S&P and Nasdaq were negative.