US retail sales rise 0.7% in September despite off-peak season

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U.S. retail sales have seen an unexpected rise of 0.7% in September, due to high demand at auto dealerships, online stores, and increasing gasoline prices. This increase occurred during a period typically considered off-peak, falling between the bustling back-to-school and holiday-shopping seasons.

Auto dealer sales, representing nearly a fifth of all retail sales, rose by 1%, while gas station receipts—reflecting higher fuel costs—also saw a similar increase. When excluding auto and gas sales, the retail sector still demonstrated robust growth of 0.6%.

Internet retailers experienced a 1.1% surge in sales. The restaurant industry also enjoyed growth, with bars and restaurants noting a 0.9% increase, and overall restaurant sales soaring by 9.2% over the past year.

However, not all sectors shared in this growth. Sales declined at big-box electronics stores, clothing outlets, and home centers such as Home Depot (NYSE:) and Lowe’s (NYSE:).

The Federal Reserve’s goal to slow inflation may face challenges due to this robust economic growth. Furthermore, August’s sales were revised upward to a 0.8% increase from an initial estimate of 0.6%.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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