U.S. Shoppers Increased Buying In October For Sixth Straight Month
The retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October compared to the previous month, but it came up short of economists’ expectations for a 0.5% rise( 1.6% gain in September).
Grocery-store sales dropped 0.4%, bar and restaurant receipts declined 0.1%, and both sporting goods and clothing sales fell 4.2%. Sales increased 3.1% from the prior month at nonstore retailers, which accounts for online merchants.
“It looks like retailers are working really hard to get an early start to the holiday season,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.
Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday reported higher revenue and earnings in its third fiscal quarter, and pledged to permanently increase compensation for its hourly workers.
The US economic outlook seems to be improving as economists projected U.S. gross domestic product would shrink by 2.7% this year, measured from the fourth quarter of 2019 (a 3.6% contraction was forecasted in October). Other signs including declining jobless claims and rising employment, manufacturing and service activity in October.
Recent real-time consumer spending data from private companies suggest people are spending more cautiously in early November. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday that there was a 7.4% decline in spending from a year earlier in the week through Nov. 9, the weakest reading since early September. (30 million credit and debit cardholders tracked for this info). The personal-saving rate, the portion of after-tax income that consumers don’t spend, was a seasonally adjusted 14.3% in September, according to the Commerce Department, nearly double the 7.3% rate in September 2019.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last week said the U.S. rebound has slowed “quite a bit” in recent months.
“We do see the economy continuing on a solid path of recovery, but the main risk we see to that is the further spread of disease here in the United States,” he said Thursday.
Walmart Inc. reported Tuesday that e-commerce sales in the U.S. jumped 79% in the quarter ended in late October.
“I have to spend wisely because we’re in a pandemic. You want to keep yourself healthy,” said Michelle L. Busch, owner of Washington, D.C.-based events company Event Solutions DC.