Financial Industry Insights from Advisors Asset Management


Online Sales Continue to Grow

Online retail sales were the highlight of July’s retail sales report as the highest performing category and showed their highest growth in six months. Year to date, cumulative sales at online retailers are up 12.1%, four times the growth of total retail sales (excluding food services) which is consistent with the general pace over the course of the expansion.

So far this year consumer spending has been one of the major economic highlights in the U.S. economy, and last quarter’s 4.3% number was a two-year high and the largest driver of the second quarter’s expansion. Aside from February, retail sales have shown consistent growth and July’s number was the fifth-straight gain after a volatile couple of months at the end of last year.

We aren’t seeing much to suggest that this trend is going to change meaningfully over the rest of this year. The escalation in tariffs were admittedly a concern, but the Trump Administration has delayed levies on roughly $156 billion in imports until December 15, which should help consumer spending for this upcoming Christmas season. The reprieve affects some of the top Christmas categories such as smartphones, laptops, toys, and video games. Meanwhile job gains and wages have been consistently positive, and consumer sentiment levels remain elevated.


CRN: 2019-0806-7604R

The opinions and views of this commentary are that of Pence Capital Management and are not necessarily that of AAM.

This commentary is for informational purposes only. All investments are subject to risk and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please see the Disclosures webpage for additional risk information at commentary-disclosures. For additional commentary or financial resources, please visit



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