Retail sales showed surprising strength in July, increasing 0.8 percent from June, the first gain in four months, according to data released by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Sales also rose 4.1 percent from July 2011.
Clothing and clothing accessories sales, the category which includes jewelry, rose 0.8 percent in July, and 5 percent from the year before.
The National Retail Federation released similar results, estimating sales increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from June.
The NRF also found that clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.8 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, and 2.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
“Despite high unemployment, and political and fiscal uncertainty, consumers are spending again, albeit cautiously,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “Retail sales will continue to see modest growth in the fall and winter.”