Retail Sales Climb Higher Than Expected
Retail sales are on the rise again, and sales are faring better than expected. According to the Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food services sales in September increased 1.9% from August. Data is also 5.4% higher than September 2019. Sales between July and September 2020 were ahead 3.6% compared to the same period in 2019.
Across the board, sales improved, noted Wells Fargo Securities. "In fact, the only category to post a decline was electronics stores where some payback was inevitable after strong demand in prior months."
Economists predicted sales would increase 0.7%, states Dow Jones.
Nonstore retailers saw a 23.8% increase from September 2019. Another jump was seen in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers category, which increased 19.1% from September 2019. Despite its modest 2.1% hike from August, food services and drinking places is still down more than 14% from September 2019. Clothing and clothing accessories stores is 12.5% behind September 2019.
"In general terms, the service sector remains the most stressed and vulnerable," said Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM economist, about the September Credit Managers' Index. "Retailers are seeing progress, but they continue to worry about the chances for another lockdown."
-Michael Miller, managing editor