There was little sign of improvement in consumer confidence in the US as many retailers reported second quarter results yesterday.

The world’s largest DIY retailer, Home Depot, said like-for-like sales fell 7.5%in the three months to August 2, with total sales down 9.1% to $19.1bn for the period.

Home Depot chief executive Frank Blake said it could be the second quarter or second half of 2010 before the chain saw a rise in like-for-like sales as shoppers remain reluctant to splash out on big ticket items.

Home Depot said it was seeing some recovery however from the hard hit areas of Florida and California and has managed to reduce operating costs for its second quarter by 7.5 per cent.

The second biggest DIY chain in the US, Lowes, has also seen declining like-for-like sales and has struggled to shift its big ticket items.

In its second quarter total sales fell 4.6% to $13.84bn, while like-for-like sales for the period fell 9.5%.

In other retail markets, discount chain Target reported better than expected second quarter profits as efficiencies helped it to reduce its costs.

US department store Saks said like-for-like sales fell 15.5 per cent and continued to “experience weakness across all merchandise categories and geographies.”