Bookstore Sales Down 1.9% in July, Flat for Year to Date

July bookstore sales fell 1.9%, to $673 million, compared to July 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marks a turnaround after a four-month streak in which bookstore sales rose every month. For the first seven months of the year, bookstore sales are $5.724 billion, down 0.3% compared to the same period in 2016.

Total retail sales in July rose 2.9%, to $476.7 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3.8%, to $3,252.7 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing new books."

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