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Inflation Dents US Retail Sales in September

Oct 18, 2022 9:02 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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US retail sales were flat in September as shoppers faced price hikes, political unrest and an unstable economy.

Revenue was unchanged from the month before, compared with a 0.4% month-on-month increase in August, according to data the US Census Bureau released last week. September sales climbed 8% from a year earlier.

“Consumer demand remained intact during September and continues to be a key contributor to economic activity,” said National Retail Federation (NRF) chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “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.”

In September, sales advanced year on year in eight of the nine categories the US Census Bureau monitors. The clothing and accessories segment — which includes jewelry — was up 4.5%. It also rose 0.5% from August. Online sales across all products increased 12% year on year and 0.5% versus the previous month.

Retail sales for the first nine months of the year gained 7%, according to the NRF’s calculations, on track to meet the federation’s 6% to 8% growth forecast for 2022.

The NRF was hopeful that holiday discounts would continue to spur shoppers to spend money.

“Even with rising interest rates, persistent inflation, political uncertainty and volatile global markets, consumers are spending for household priorities,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay. “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.”

Image: Shoppers in a mall. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Jack Kleinhenz, Jewelry, Leah Meirovich, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, the US Census Bureau, US retail sales
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