On a monthly basis, retail sales remained strong in September and had another year-over-year gain despite an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve and continued inflation.
“September retail sales confirm that even with rising interest rates, persistent inflation, political uncertainty and volatile global markets, consumers are spending for household priorities,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As we enter the holiday season, shoppers are increasingly seeking deals and discounts to make their dollars stretch, and retailers are already meeting this demand. However, the Biden administration must enact policy measures to relieve inflationary pressure and lower costs for American families.”
“Consumer demand remained intact during September and continues to be a key contributor to economic activity,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “But sales were uneven across retail categories and inflation is the main factor that is determining how much shoppers are willing to spend. Households are tapping into savings, accessing credit and reducing their savings contributions as they meet higher prices head on. Shoppers are looking for bargains and value in the current economic environment and even more so as we head into the holiday season.”
The U.S. Census Bureau said last week that overall retail sales in September were unchanged from August but up 8.2% year over year, compared with increases of 0.4% month over month and 9.4% year over year in August. On a three-month moving average, sales were up 9.2% year over year.