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US retail sales growth speeds up, Sept 4th month of gains

Oct '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
A strong rebound in apparel led a continuing V-shaped recovery from the pandemic as retail sales accelerated their rate of growth in September and marked the fourth straight month of year-on-year (YoY) gains, according to the US National Retail Federation (NRF), which recently said its calculation of retail sales showed September was up by 1.3 per cent seasonally adjusted from August and up 12 per cent unadjusted YoY.

NRF excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail.

The YoY gain was more than double the 5.7 per cent YoY increase in August, which was unchanged from July. NRF’s numbers were up by 9.2 per cent unadjusted YoY on a three-month moving average. Compared with March, the month the pandemic set in, September sales were up by 5.6 per cent.

“Consumers continue to prove their resilience and strength through this pandemic. Retailers and consumers are adapting to the current environment, embracing shopping in different ways and focusing on specific categories,” NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said in a statement.

“Retail sales are continuing to build on the momentum we’ve seen through the summer and have been boosted by an improving labor market, a rebound in consumer confidence and elevated savings,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

The US Census Bureau recently said overall retail sales in September were up by 1.9 per cent seasonally adjusted from August and up 5.4 per cent YoY. That was more than triple the 0.6 per cent month-over-month increase and almost double the 2.8 per cent YoY increase in August. Sales have been up both month-over-month and YoY each month since June following record monthly drops this spring.

Three-quarters of retail categories saw both month-over-month and year-over-year increases. The biggest monthly gain came at clothing stores, although their sales remained below last year, while the largest YoY increase was seen online. Electronics and appliance stores were the only major segment to post a decline.

Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up by 11 per cent month-over-month seasonally adjusted but down 12 per cent unadjusted YoY in September. Furniture and home furnishings stores were up by 0.5 per cent month-over-month seasonally adjusted and up by 7.5 per cent unadjusted YoY.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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November 2020

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