The US-based National Retail Federation (NRF) has found that core retail sales in the US increased last month despite high inflation.

The figure grew by 0.8% in July from the previous month and 7.1% year-on-year (YoY).

The NRF calculates retail sales by excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on the core retail sector.

For the first seven months of the year, total sales in the US increased by 6% YoY.

This figure is reportedly aligned with NRF’s forecast that retail sales will increase by between 6% and 8% this year compared with last year.

In July, online and other non-store sales rose by 2.7% month-over-month (MoM) adjusted seasonally and were up by 18.1% unadjusted YoY.

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Retail divisions that recorded an increase in sales included building materials and garden supply stores, grocery and beverage stores, sporting goods stores, and health and personal care stores.

Despite these results, clothing and clothing accessory store sales declined by 0.6% MoM seasonally adjusted, but were up by 0.2% unadjusted YoY.

General merchandise stores recorded a 0.7% MoM decrease in sales seasonally adjusted and a 0.1% fall unadjusted YoY.

Sales from furniture and home furnishings stores, as well as electronics and appliance stores, grew MoM seasonally adjusted but fell by 0.3% and 11.3% unadjusted YoY.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: “Retail sales grew in July, supported by declines in prices at the gas pump and moderately lower inflation.

“Consumers are adapting to higher prices by prioritising essentials like food and back-to-school items, and retailers are working hard to absorb the impact of higher costs and help customers stretch their hard-earned dollars.

“However, policy measures like removing China tariffs, enacting smart immigration reform and investing in supply chain resiliency are needed to relieve inflationary pressure and lower costs for American families.”