September 25, 2019 – Retail sales (excluding auto sales) growth decelerated in August to a 3.5 percent pace following a solid gain in July. A pick-up in sales at building materials retailers along with non-store retailers (includes e-commerce) was offset by a slowdown in a number of retail categories, including restaurants, gasoline stations, clothing stores and department stores. August prices dropped slightly, relative to the same period last year, largely due to falling gas prices. Confidence is booming among younger consumers, likely due to continued job and wage gains in lower pay industries where many begin their careers. However, these same consumers are also most at risk if the economy slows.
"While job growth is slowing, wage and overall income growth remain solid, which should support another impressive pace of consumer spending in the third quarter,” said Michael Brown, Principal U.S. Economist. “However, we also continue to monitor geopolitical risks for any potential adverse impact on consumer spending."