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U.S. retail sales rebounds in October, real consumer spending likely to slowdown in Q4

U.S. retail sales rebounded in October. On a sequential basis, retail sales grew 0.3 percent after a fall of 0.3 percent seen in the prior month, coming in ahead of consensus expectations of a rise of 0.2 percent. Gains were mainly seen in autos & parts dealers and gasoline stations. These were tempered by falls in food services & drinking places, and building material & garden equipment stores.

Sales in the retail sales “control group”, which excludes more volatile components came in at 0.3 percent, consistent with market expectations. The rise in the control group reflected a mixed performance among the underlying subcategories. The main bright spot here was non-store retailers, which includes online sellers. They rose 0.9 percent sequentially and were up 14.3 percent year-on-year, the highest of any major group. General merchandise stores also rose 0.4 percent.

The remaining categories greatly recorded declines. Electronics & appliance stores dropped 0.4 percent, clothing & clothing accessories stores fell 1 percent.

“While the high bar for consumption growth that was set in the previous quarters will be a tough act to follow, a solid start to fourth-quarter retail sales suggests that consumers will remain an integral part of the economic growth story. Overall, real consumer spending is on track to slow from nearly 3 percent (annualized) in Q3, to a still-decent 2.0 percent to 2.5 percent in Q4”, said TD Economics in a research report.

By Aditi Awati
  • Market Data
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