Hot weather and clearance sales drew Americans into stores in July, giving retailers solid sales gains and helping offset worries about jobs and the economy. Three-quarters of retailers reporting results said they beat expectations.
Retail sales were up in July, a rare bright spot among dim economic indicators. But consumers and investors being the way they are, the question on everyone's mind immediately becomes: Can August keep up the pace? We found out what the experts are saying.
July retail sales were solid, with Costco, Macy's, JC Penney, Nordstron and Saks Fifth Avenue all beating expectations. Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, the retail consultancy, says we could be having the best back-to-school selling season since 2006.
Investors may get some relief from strong gasoline and auto sales, which helped lift retail overall and should ease some fears of a double-dip recession. Excluding gas and autos, most segments showed good year-over-year gains and small but as-expected month-over-month rises.