Seasonally adjusted retail sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, grew by 0.1% from July 2013, while unadjusted sales grew by 3.9% year-over-year.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said slow growth continues to be the economic story five years after the financial crisis.
"The economy, employment, wages, and retail sales continue to stagger along. Retailers and consumers are resilient but not overly optimistic about the broader economy. While positive retail sales growth continues month-after-month, it is just not strong enough to move the needle," Shay added.
According to US Census Bureau, total retail and food services sales in August increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.7% adjusted year-over-year.
Sales in clothing and clothing accessories declined 0.8% seasonally-adjusted, month-to-month, while increased 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
Sales in furniture and home furnishing stores increased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 4.9% unadjusted year-over-year.
General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 0.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
Month-to-month, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales decreased 0.5% seasonally-adjusted while year-over-year sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 3.7%.
Health and personal care stores’ sales grew by 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 3% unadjusted year-over-year.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said the data suggests that consumers remain cautious with their pocketbooks and purchases.
"This month’s weak retail sales report will continue to put pressure on policymakers, who are dealing with tapering, and retailers, who will need to focus on price and value to entice consumer spending," Kleinhenz added.