10 out of 13 major categories showed growth in July and one remained unchanged. The biggest gains were reported for: online stores (1.5 percent); motor vehicle and dealers (1.4 percent); sporting goods, hobby, music and books stores (0.9 percent); furniture stores (0.8 percent); building materials and garden equipment (0.7 percent) and food services & drinking places (0.7 percent). Sales in general merchandise stores declined 0.5 percent (department stores dropped by 0.8 percent) and purchases in electronics & appliance stores went down by 1.2 percent.
Excluding autos, the sales rose 0.4 percent, the same as in the previous month. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services purchases rose 0.3 percent after a revised 0.2 percent gain in June.