U.S. jewelry store sales increased 3 percent year on year to $2.391 billion in June, according to government calculations.
U.S. jewelry and watch sales from all retail channels rose 3.4 percent during the month, with jewelry sales up 3.3 percent to $4.886 billion and watch sales increasing 3.6 percent to $666.3 million.
Jewelry store sales have improved 4.3 percent year on year to $15.34 billion in the first six months of 2014, whereas jewelry sales from all channels have risen 2.3 percent to $30.323 billion and watch rose 1.4 percent to $4.134 billion, according to Rapaport News calculations.
Meanwhile, advanced sales estimates from U.S. department stores declined 2.8 percent year on year to $12.341 billion in July. However, retail sales estimates for all products and services in July jumped 4.2 percent to $446.3 billion. Retail trade sales rose 3.4 percent and non-store retail sales increased 6.7 percent during the month.
On a month-to-month comparison, retail sales in July were unchanged from June, once again showing weak consumer spending momentum, according to Sterne Agee's chief economist, Lindsey Piegza.
"Retail sales were unchanged at the start of the third quarter, calling into question more optimistic expectations of 3 percent to 4 percent GDP growth in the second half," Piegza stated. Since a short-lived retail sales increase in February and March, U.S. consumers have slowed consumption.
Piegza said, "If the consumer is not out spending, the economy will struggle to maintain the average 2 percent pace of the recovery, let alone an elevated 3-percent-plus pace. It all comes down to jobs and income growth. While headline job creation has been impressive as of late, top-line job growth has not been sufficient to translate into wage pressures, without which the consumer will remain constrained."