Share
News

US Retail Sales See Solid Rise in October

Share

U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace in October, though the gains were boosted by one-time factors such as hurricane recovery spending and higher gas prices.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent last month, following two months of slight declines, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Excluding gasoline sales, which were inflated by higher prices, sales climbed a 0.5 percent.

The figures suggest that consumers are pulling back a bit on their spending, which could slow growth in the final three months of the year.

Americans had lifted their spending over the summer and fall at the fastest six-month pace in four years. Yet business spending on machinery, computers and buildings barely increased in the July-September quarter, leaving consumers shouldering more of the burden of maintaining growth.

Trending:
Some Americans Already Pulling Their Accounts from Credit Unions Over Dems' IRS Spying Plan

Some economists were disappointed by Thursday’s report. Excluding volatile categories such as gas, auto and food services, retail sales rose just 0.3 percent.

“This looks very much like the end of the boost from the tax cuts, and it strengthens our conviction that (economic) growth has peaked,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note.

Most analysts forecast economic growth will slow in the final three months of the year, to a roughly 2.5 percent pace, after robust increases of 4.2 percent in the second quarter and 3.5 percent in the third.

Some of October’s spending gain was likely boosted by the impact of Hurricane Florence in September and Hurricane Michael last month. The government said it could not measure the precise impact of the two storms.

But auto sales rose 1.1 percent in October, the most since March, as many Americans may have replaced cars destroyed by the hurricanes.

Home improvement and garden store sales increased 1 percent, the most since May, likely boosted by storm-related home repairs and preparations. On Tuesday, Home Depot breezed past all expectations for its most recent quarter and raised its annual profit expectations.

Gasoline station sales jumped 3.5 percent, the most in almost a year, largely because of rising prices at the pump. Yet prices have since declined and will likely continue to do so, as oil prices have fallen sharply this week.

The average cost of a gallon of gas was $2.67 on Thursday, down from $2.89 a month earlier.

Nearly all types of retailers reported strong sales gains, a sign of consumer health.

Related:
White House Chief of Staff: Inflation and Rising Food Prices Are 'High Class' Problem

Clothing store sales rose 0.5 percent and sales at general merchandise stores, which include big box retailers such as Walmart and Target, also increased 0.5 percent. Electronic and appliance store sales rose 0.7 percent.

Restaurants and bars posted a rare decline for the third month in a row, falling 0.2 percent, following a sharper fall of 1.5 percent in September.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation