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As retail sales tick up in July, back-to-school shopping plays important role

from National Retail Federation

After an unusually strong winter driven by sales of warm weather attire and bright, trendy fashions, a rocky spring followed, making it anyone's best guess for what retailers would see from shoppers entering the dog days of summer. Dog days might be an understatement this year, with one of the hottest July's on record combined with extreme drought conditions for many states across the country. The Commerce Department in July reported that June retail sales missed expectations, showing a consumer who was clearly hesitant to spend on anything other than the essentials, such as health and personal care items and grocery products. At that time, NRF's Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz stated that the data was "discouraging but not demoralizing." more

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