The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $376.1 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent (±0.7%) from the previous month and 3.2 percent (±0.8%) above July 2006. Total sales for the May through July 2007 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago.
Econoday summed it up nicely with the following chart.
Looking at the year/year growth it is clearly slowing over the last couple of years and below the recent “normal” range. But 3.2% is still at least acceptable (though not too much above inflation so real growth is slow). Furthermore, the year-to-date trend is setting higher highs and higher lows, so things may be on an uptrend.
I am going to stick with my classification as “good but deteriorating.”