According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales —including auto dealers, gas stations, and restaurants — increased by 4.6% in August when compared to the same month last year. Sales also increased by 0.4% from July (seasonally adjusted).
The NRF didn’t provide specific data for toy stores, but the largest category of growth overall was online and other non-store retail sales. These increased by 14.3% year-over-year and by 1.6% month-over-month (seasonally adjusted).
Grocery and beverage stores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, and general merchandise stores were also among the categories that saw growth year-over-year. Furniture and home furnishing stores, building materials and garden supply stores, and electronics and appliance stores all saw a decline in sales year-over-year.
Despite the sales growth, the NRF noted the potential upcoming impact of the new and increasing tariffs on goods from China.
“While consumer attitudes about the economy indicate some retreating optimism, the bottom line is that consumer spending remained resilient in August and continued to be a key contributor to U.S. economic growth,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Trends remain strong, but August grew somewhat slower than July, which could reflect consumers’ concerns about the unpredictability of trade policy. It is too early to assess the impact of the new tariffs that took effect at the beginning of this month, but they do present downside risks to household spending.”