While the number of Americans returning to retail outlets in July slowed a bit, the numbers were propped up by a strong showing from the automotive sector.
The Commerce Department reports that July’s retail and food service sales numbers were up 5.5 percent from a year ago and up 0.4 from June. Yet the numbers were greatly helped by a huge surge in auto and gasoline sales, suggesting that while Americans may slowly begin spending again, the car industry’s recovery may be quicker than others.
Auto sales were up 8.9 percent year-on-year, while gasoline stations posted a 12.2 percent increase. When car sales are excluded from the retail report, the numbers slip significantly to a 4.9 percent yearly increase and just a 0.2 percent monthly jump.
According to DailyFinance, many analysts and investors were slightly disappointed with the retail numbers, although they saw the auto industry’s growth as a good signal for economic stability.
“July was a bit of a mixed bag,” Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard SpendingPulse, told the news source.
With Americans returning to the auto lots, many dealers are offering significant incentives, making it a great time to apply for a car loan regardless of credit history.