US Retail Sales Growing as Holiday Season Begins: NRF

US retail sales grew again in October as consumers set aside concerns about inflation and many got a jump start on the holiday season, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, “October retail sales data confirms that consumers continue to stretch their dollars on household priorities, including gifts for family and loved ones this holiday season. With a strong labour market and excess savings, we are expecting a solid five-day holiday shopping weekend, and retailers are prepared to meet their customers with the right inventory, competitive prices and great experiences. We are keeping a close eye on the railway labour negotiations and urge Congress to do everything in its power to avoid a labour strike this holiday season.”

The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in October were up 1.3% from September and up 8.3% year over year. In September, sales were flat month over month but up 8.6% year over year.

NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said, “October’s performance is a strong foothold as we go into the holiday season. Spending has gradually slowed but remains solid. Consumers continue to show resiliency despite elevated inflation, rising borrowing costs and widespread macroeconomic uncertainties. With employment and wages growing and shoppers accessing accumulated savings, we expect the trend to continue. Early holiday deals that enticed customers appear to underly the October numbers and more promotions will be seen in November and December, which are historically the big holiday shopping months.”

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed October was up 0.7% from September and up 6.5% unadjusted year over year. In September, sales were up 0.5% month over month and up 7.9% year over year.

October sales were up in all but two retail categories on a yearly basis, led by online sales, building materials stores and grocery stores, and increased in five out of nine categories on a monthly basis.

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