There is good news at retail as the holiday shopping season gets underway.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), U.S. retail sales are on the upswing with four consecutive months of growth. While their tracking methodology differs, both the NRF and the U.S. Census Bureau reported accelerated gains in September.
Following record drops in the spring as store closures occurred due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, growth began again in June. The Census reports that September retail sales were up 1.9 % seasonally adjusted from August and up 5.4% over the same period last year. Similarly, the NRF data shows a 1.3% spike seasonally adjusted from August and 12% unadjusted increase over last year.
“Retail sales showed impressive gains in September,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers continue to prove their resilience and strength through this pandemic. Retailers and consumers are adapting to the current environment, embracing shopping in different ways, and focusing on specific categories. We’re optimistic about the prospects for a strong holiday season, as people want something to look forward to and bring joy to their lives.”
Additionally, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says that “these numbers and other economic data show the nation’s economy remains on its recovery path.”