Retail sales increase as consumers focus on goods rather than services and entertainment


Our monthly analysis of nationwide retail sales is provided by the National Retail Federation, which advocates for retailers in Washington and across the country.

Here is their latest review, dated October 15:

Retail sales rose again in September, as concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 pushed consumer spending toward merchandise rather than services like dining, entertainment or travel, despite disruptions in the market. supply chain and inflation, the National Retail Federation said today.

September sales increased in all but two categories on a monthly basis and year over year overall, led by increases in clothing, electronics and general merchandise stores. The specifics of the key sectors include:


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  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 1.1% month over month, seasonally adjusted, and 22.5% unadjusted year over year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were down 0.9% month over month, but were up 17.3% year over year.
  • General merchandise stores were up 2% month over month, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted 14.1% year over year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores increased 0.2% month over month, seasonally adjusted, and unadjusted 13.7% year over year.
  • Sporting goods stores were up 3.7% month over month, seasonally adjusted, and 13% unadjusted year over year.
  • Online and other non-store sales were up 0.6% month over month, seasonally adjusted, and 10.5% unadjusted year over year.
  • Grocery and beverage stores were up 0.7 percent month over month, seasonally adjusted, and unadjusted 7.4 percent year over year.
  • Health and personal care stores were down 1.4% month over month, but were up 6.9% year over year.
  • Building material and garden supply stores were up 0.1 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted, and uncorrected 6.2 percent year-over-year .

What does all this mean? The leaders of the National Retail Federation analyzed it:

“Today’s retail sales data confirms the consumer’s spending power, and we expect this to continue,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Despite the lingering challenges of the global pandemic, supply chain and labor shortages, retailers and their partners have shown resilience and ingenuity to build the workforce. work, assets and systems to serve their customers and the communities in which they operate. We welcomed the opportunity to work with the Biden administration and industry partners this week to resolve supply chain and workforce issues. We have achieved record imports this year and are confident that collectively we can meet these challenges to ensure a healthy and happy holiday season. “

“The reopening of the economy was interrupted by COVID-19 and non-retail consumer spending slowed towards the end of the summer,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the NRF. “Consumers remained active, but retail sales did not reflect as much of a shift from goods to services as expected. This was a plus for the retail trade because consumers still have a hyper-capacity to spend thanks to the gains in wages and jobs and to household savings made during the pandemic. In addition, some back-to-school expenses may have spilled over from August to September due to school districts delaying opening until after Labor Day. Overall, the September report is very promising for a good end of the year. However, rising inflation and slowing supply chains remain a concern. Spending could have been higher had it not been for a shortage of items consumers are eager to buy. “

The United States Census Bureau said today that overall retail sales in September were up 0.7% seasonally adjusted from August and 13.9% year-on-year. This compares to increases of 0.9% month over month and 15.4% year over year in August. Despite occasional month-over-month declines, sales have increased year-over-year in every month since June 2020, according to census data.

The calculation of the NRF of retail sales – which excludes car dealerships, gas stations and restaurants to focus on core retailing – also showed that September was up 0.7% seasonally adjusted from to August and September was up 11% unadjusted year over year. That is compared to increases of 2.4% month over month and 12.2% year over year in August. NRF numbers rose 10.7% year-on-year on a three-month moving average.

For the first nine months of the year, sales calculated by NRF increased by 14.5% compared to the same period in 2020. This is consistent with NRF’s forecast. revised forecast 2021 retail sales are expected to grow between 10.5 and 13.5 percent from 2020 to reach between $ 4.44 billion and $ 4.56 billion.

About the NRF
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association, is a passionate advocate for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help the retail business thrive.


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