WASHINGTON (AP) — US Retailer Sales Pace There was no change last month as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates forced many households to spend more cautiously.
Retail purchases were flat in July after he rose 0.8% in June, the Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.
US consumers, whose consumption accounts for nearly 70% of economic activity, see inflation near a 40-year high, economic uncertainty rising, and mortgage and other borrowing rates soaring. Still, their overall spending has weakened, moving increasingly from discretionary items such as household goods, casual clothing and electronics to essential items such as food. is shifting.
The government's monthly report on retail sales covers about one-third of consumer purchases, from airfare and apartment rent to movie tickets and doctor visits. To date, it does not include spending on most services.
Consumer prices remained flat in his June-July, the lowest reading in more than two years, although overall inflation remained painfully high. .
Yet inflation poses a serious threat to families. Gasoline prices have fallen from their all-time highs, but food, rent, used cars and other necessities are far more expensive than the wage increases most workers have received.
Despite a still-robust job market, the US economy contracted in the first half of 2022, raising fears of a potential recession. Growth has slowed significantly as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has aggressively raised interest rates to cool the economy and keep high inflation in check.
The impact of the Fed rate hike was particularly felt in the housing market. Sales of previously occupied homes have slowed for the fifth month in a row as rising mortgage rates and higher selling prices have left many would-be buyers on the sidelines.
But the most important pillar of the economy, the job market, has proven resilient. U.S. employers significantly increased her 528,000 jobs in July, pushing her unemployment rate to 3.5%, matching the nearly half-century low reached just before the pandemic erupted in the spring of 2020. To do.
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