Sales at USA retailers surged in July to the highest level of 2017, aided by strong demand for new autos and Amazon's Prime Day shopping specials.
Estimated furniture and home furnishings store sales totaled $9.68 billion in July, up from a revised $9.16 billion in July a year ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today.
The dollar rose by more than 1 percent against the Japanese yen, touching its highest in more than a week and on pace for its largest daily rise against the yen since June.
Retail sales in Brazil rose more than expected in June, government data showed on Tuesday, suggesting the central bank's string of large interest rate cuts may be starting to boost the economic recovery.
Analysts, who had been expecting an increase of only 0.3 per cent in July, said the result was a strong start to growth in the third quarter.
"Soft or declining prices for retail goods continue to hold down the dollar amount of sales reported even though unit volume was up", Kleinhenz said.
The acceleration in consumer spending in the second quarter came at the expense of savings, a trend that economists say is unsustainable.
"Stronger retail sales puts the Fed back on track to hike in December", Chris Low of FTN Financial said in a research note. Faced with a huge inventory of unsold cars, auto dealerships are resorting to hefty discounts to attract buyers.
Amazon also played a role as its annual Prime Day promotion last month contributed to a 1.3% jump in sales at online retailers.
Health and personal care stores increased 0.4 percent over June and increased 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Amazon's Prime Day helped boost US retail sales in July.
Sales at electronic stores also fell slightly, but in all likelihood consumers merely shifted purchases to online retailers such as Amazon. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4% last month. Sales at clothing stores fell 0.2 per cent after rising 0.7 per cent in June.