Retail Sales Declined 0.1% in October, Up 2.5% YOY

Washington, DC, November 15, 2023-Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October 2023 were $705.0 billion, down 0.1% from the previous month and up 2.5% above October 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Total sales for the August 2023 through October 2023 period were up 3.1% from the same period a year ago. The August 2023 to September 2023 percent change was revised from up 0.7% to up 0.9%.

Retail trade sales were down 0.2% from September 2023, and up 1.6% above last year. Gasoline Stations were down 7.5% from last year, while nonstore retailers were up 7.6% from October 2022.

Reports the Wall Street Journal, “Consumers spent less at stores, dealerships and gas stations last month, a sign the summer spending boom is cooling heading into the holiday shopping season.

“U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in October from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That is the first decline since March and comes after a 0.9% increase in September. Declining retail sales, combined with slower hiring and easing inflation indicate that the economy is cooling after surprisingly strong growth much of this year.

“From a year earlier, sales rose 2.5% in October, well slower than the pace of price increases.

“Americans spent less at auto dealerships as higher interest rates could deter some from making big-ticket purchases. Gasoline purchases also fell, as declining prices at the pump resulted in less spending at gas stations. Sales also declined at department, hardware and furniture stores.

“Consumers continued to spend more at restaurants and bars, with sales rising 0.3%, and at grocery stores and online.”

Related Topics:U.S. Census Bureau