October retail sales increased 1.7%, marking a good start to holiday shopping

Washington, DC, November 16, 2021 – Retail and foodservice sales in the United States for October 2021 were $ 638.2 billion, an increase of 1.7% from the previous month and 16 , 3% from October 2020, according to the US Census Bureau.

Total sales for the period August 2021 to October 2021 increased by 15.4% compared to the same period a year ago. The percentage change from August 2021 to September 2021 has been revised from 0.7% to 0.8%.

Retail sales increased 1.9% from September 2021 and 14.8% from last year. Gas stations were up 46.8% from October 2020, while food services and drinking places were up 29.3% from a year ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The high spending levels suggest strong holiday sales this month and next. Consumers said they were worried about inflation, which peaked in three decades last month, but plan to keep spending.

“Consumers say they are pessimistic – we had very high inflation – but the truth is they are in very good shape right now,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. He cited the roughly $ 2 trillion in excess savings that households have accumulated since the start of the pandemic, as well as low interest rates and improving labor market as reasons for the high demand for goods. .

“The combination of high demand, cranky supply chains, higher prices and an unbalanced labor market creates an unusual holiday period where record sales can come with shortages and long waits for employees. merchandise. Inflation may also begin to reduce demand from low-income consumers who may postpone their purchases due to price increases, economists say.

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