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US Retail Sales Fall for First Time in Seven Months

November 16, 2023  |  Leah Meirovich
US retail woman shopping at mall NRF credit Shutterstock 1280 USED 161123

US retail sales slipped for the first time since March amid rising economic challenges that have outweighed growth in the employment market.

Retail sales fell 0.1% to $705 billion in October — adjusted for seasonal variation — compared with September, according to data the US Census Bureau published Wednesday. That’s down from September’s 0.9% gain (revised upward from 0.7%). However, sales increased 2.5% year on year.

“Fourth-quarter consumer spending stepped off on a more moderate pace, as expected,” said National Retail Federation (NRF) chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “The staying power of the American consumer has been the story of 2023, but financial conditions have tightened appreciably in recent months, curbing the purchasing power fueled by job and wage gains.”

The NRF expected sales to slow in October. The retail organization believes that seasonal sales will remain positive, and annual sales for 2023 will grow about 4% year on year.

“Continued consumer resilience is still expected for the holiday season,” Kleinhenz added.

Main image: A woman shopping at a mall. (Shutterstock)

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US retail woman shopping at mall NRF credit Shutterstock 1280 USED 161123 US Retail Sales Fall for First Time in Seven Months

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