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United States Retail October 2021

United States: Retail sales growth accelerates in October

Retail sales increased 1.7% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in October, which was up from September’s 0.8% increase. October’s improvement was primarily due to healthier food and beverages, and motor vehicle and parts dealers sales. Moreover, non-store retailers sales and gasoline stations sales expanded at a quicker pace in October relative to the month prior.

On an annual basis, retail sales rose 16.3% in October, which was above September’s 14.3% expansion. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth rose to 17.0% in October (September: +16.0%). This signals an improving trend in the retail trade sector.

Commenting on September’s print, Katherine Judge, a senior economist at CIBC World Markets, stated:

“The upside surprise in the control group combined with the advance in unit auto sales suggests that goods spending is off to a stronger start in the fourth quarter than thought. However, that is in contrast to a deterioration in the outlook for services spending on account of the acceleration in new Covid cases lately. Excess savings accumulated throughout the pandemic will provide a means for an acceleration in spending in the spring of 2022, but that will be tilted heavily towards services.”

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