It was a mixed bag for retailers in July, with sales gains in many back-to-school categories like clothing and sporting goods, but surprising declines in home-based categories, including building materials and furniture stores.

July retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from June and increased 5.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association.

“Consumers continue to grind forward in July, marking 13 consecutive months of retail sales gains,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

July retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and increased 5.4 percent adjusted year-over-year.