Little growth in retail sales for August

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One word describes retail sales in August: lackluster.

Despite back-to-school sales events, retail sales only increased .1 percent from July.

But compared with last August, sales were up 6 percent, said the National Retail Federation, an industry group.

“Consumer spending in August was tempered by a continued lack of confidence in the strength of our economy,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Having carried the brunt of the economic recovery so far, consumers may be waiting for good news in terms of employment and market stability, cautiously spending on things they need and thinking twice about things they want.”

August retail sales mirror August employment: zero growth.

“Consumer spending has stalled,” said NRF economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Consumer spending has stalled and it will be important for consumers to see positive changes in the economic outlook going into the fourth quarter.”