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Retail Sales Surge in September in Show of Economic Strength


Retail Sales Surge in September in Show of Economic Strength

John Carney 16 Oct 2020

Retail sales jumped higher in September, indicating that consumer spending accelerated even coronavirus infection case numbers rose and business continued to layoff thousands of workers.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales jumped 1.9 percent compared with August, when sales increased sixth-tenths of a percent from the previous months.

Perhaps more impressive is that the pace of gains is accelerating after five months of consecutive gains. Economists had expected sales to rise just eight-tenths of a percentage point, less than half the actual gain.

Sales in several categories are up from the year-ago levels, indicating a full recovery from the pandemic recession. What’s more, even in categories where sales remain below the year-ago level, the decline is contracting.

Sales are auto dealerships and parts stores rose 3.6 percent. These are up 10.6 percent compared with a year ago. Sales at stores selling books, camping gear, sporting goods, and other hobby goods rose 5.7 percent and are up 14.4 percent annually.



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