U.S. retail sales have been up both month-over-month and year-over-year every month since June, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Monthly Economic Report. The report cautions that while sales have recovered more than expected, the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across the country remains a looming threat that could send numbers tumbling again.
“Strong growth in retail sales during the last few months points to the resiliency of consumers even in this disruptive pandemic environment,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Taking in all the evidence available, the U.S. economic recovery has progressed more quickly than generally expected.”
The latest NRF report mirrors toy industry trends indicating that families that have been saving this year have begun spending more at the cash registers. Paired with the economic stimulus checks that many received earlier this year, increased personal disposable income rose 5.4% through August, according to the report.
Kleinhenz believes that further stimulus money may be necessary to prevent stalling of economic recovery, particularly if COVID-19 leads to another wave of store closures.
The NRF recently launched its “New Holiday Traditions” campaign, which encourages families to shop early this season. Last month, the NRF said that forecasting this holiday season was akin to “building a puzzle with missing pieces.”