Retail Sales Dip, But Consumers Keep Spending

Retail Sales Dip, But Consumers Keep Spending

Retail sales fell 0.1% in October, coming off a strong 0.9% increase in September.

  • Auto sales amounted to much of the decline, mainly due to the auto strike. If those are taken out, sales were up 0.1%.

Why it matters: Consumers continued spending and showed resilience despite their personal savings falling and credit card balances rising.

Details: Electronics and appliance stores, food and beverage stores, health and personal care stores, non-store retailers (mostly online sellers), and bars and restaurants saw gains.

  • But sales were down at motor vehicles and parts dealers, furniture stores, and miscellaneous stores.

Bottom line: If leaders avoid adding uncertainty to the economy – like from a government shutdown – and push pro-growth policies that address the worker shortage and help U.S. companies sell more to international customers, the job market will remain robust, keeping incomes steady and consumers spending.