Spending Surges in September

Retail sales grew in September, propelled by solid performance in the clothing and electronics categories and offering a promising outlook for the critical holiday months ahead, according to the National Retail Federation.September retail sales (excluding

April 6, 2018

September retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from August and 2.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“In spite of the uncertainty and unease surrounding our nation’s high unemployment and long-term fiscal challenges, consumers continue to spend and shop,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Robust back-to-school spending combined with a series of new, technology-led product launches certainly helped retailers in September. The American consumer is holding their own in this economic environment, but the question remains, for how long?”
September retail sales, released Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 5.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“With recent data painting a more

optimistic view of consumer confidence, we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “While the latest retail sales data indicates continued improvement for the economy, increasing gas prices and the looming fiscal cliff still pose serious challenges to the momentum we’ve seen in consumer spending.”

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