Retail and food sales in August were .42% higher or $1.5 billion more than in July. Total retail sales have increased for two consecutive months, but certain areas of retail are performing better than others. Clothing and apparel sales increased 1.2% or $210 million, according to the monthly sales report [.pdf] released today. Grocery sales also increased 1.4% or $607 million. On the other hand, electronic and appliance sales decreased 1.1% or $93 million. Vehicles and parts sales also declined .7% or $408 million. While each of these fluctuations are moderate, the trend of the past year, as shown in the chart below, illustrates more retail activity in 2010 than in 2009, except for auto sales.
Percent Change in Retail Sales Since August 2009: