Census says October retail sales grew year over year, but growth continued to slow

Nov 30, 2023
Written by WR Communications


It’s expected that consumer spending will continue to show strength during the holiday season, according to recent data. Despite a slowdown in growth, retail sales in October sustained an upward trend compared to the previous year. Consumer spending in the fourth quarter began at a moderate rate, which was anticipated. Although financial conditions have become more stringent, which has affected buying potential that was previously boosted by employment and wage increases, the resilience of consumers is still predicted to prevail during the holiday season.

The Census Bureau reported a slight 0.1% dip in retail sales from September to October, but there was a 2.5% increase from the same month last year. This is a deceleration from September’s figures, which showed a 0.9% monthly and 4.1% annual increase.

Core retail sales, not counting sales from auto dealerships, gas stations, and restaurants, rose by 3.1% on a three-month moving average up to October, with a 3.7% increase over the first ten months of the year. These figures match industry forecasts that retail sales for the entire year of 2023 will see around a 4% growth over the previous year.

October’s cooling in sales was anticipated, and the most recent data from the Census aligns with predictions from the newly introduced CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor. This tool, which utilizes Affinity Solutions data, indicates that core retail sales in October slightly decreased by 0.03% from September, but rose 2.63% compared to the same period last year.


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