Written by Alina Selyukh
Retailers had placed much hope on a big midsummer shopping spurt, but July proved to be somewhat lackluster, amid renewed lockdowns and new waves of coronavirus cases. Retail sales grew only 1.2% last month compared to June.
Overall sales in July stayed above pre-pandemic levels. This followed a blockbuster June, when sales jumped 8.4% — marking the first month since the start of the pandemic when shoppers spent more than a year earlier, recovering from the historic wipeout in spring.
In July, people bought a lot of electronics to stay entertained at home and appliances for home remodels, and finally slowed their run on exercise gear and outdoor equipment like kayaks and dumbbells. They also started shopping for clothes again, got into their cars for trips, stopping to fill up at gas stations, and cautiously went out to eat as more stores and restaurants reopened, the Commerce Department data showed Friday.
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