U.S. retail sales post 1.9% gain for September 2020

October 16, 2020

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2020 recorded a 1.9% or $549.3 billion increased from August 2020. Leading the advance was clothing and accessories by 11%, while sporting goods, music and books jumped 5.7%. ‘Motor vehicle and parts dealers’ advanced 3.6% as food & beverage store sales remained flat relative to outturn in August 2020. Electronics and appliance store sales slowed during September 2020. The outcome for electronics sales also reflects a 6.4% decline compared to September 2019.

Notably, September’s retail sales outturn was 5.4% above September 2019. Total sales for the July 2020 through September 2020 period were up 3.6% from the same period a year ago. The July 2020 to August 2020 percent change was unrevised at up 0.6%.

Retail trade sales were up 1.9% from August 2020, and 8.2%) above last year. Non-store retailers were up 23.8% from September 2019, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were up 19.1% from last year.

The advance estimates are based on a subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,500 retail and food services firms whose sales are hen weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food services firms.


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