US retail sales rose more than expected in October, marking the fastest growth in eight months. It suggests that overall demand for goods is holding up even as inflation hits its highest level for decades and the economic outlook deteriorates.
In October, out of 13 categories, nine increased, including car dealers, grocery stores, and restaurants. Gas station sales increased by 4.1%. This mainly reflects the increase in gasoline prices.
The data suggest that the US economy got off to a strong start in the fourth quarter, with consumption remaining strong overall. But some Fed officials have argued for slowing rate increases in the coming months, and strong economic data could complicate those discussions.
Bloomberg Economics (BE) economists Eliza Winger and Andrew Husby wrote in a note that October’s strong retail data will force the Fed to continue raising rates in the next few meetings outlined in the report.
Many retailers are stocked and offering heavy discounts to clear inventory before the all-important holiday season. Clothing store sales remained flat month-on-month, while department store sales fell by 2.1%.
Sales at home appliance stores and sporting goods stores also fell, suggesting the impact of discounts and reduced demand.
Core sales, which exclude restaurants, car dealerships, building materials stores and gas stations, and are used to calculate gross domestic product (GDP), rose 0.7% from the previous month, the highest growth in four months.
See the table for detailed statistics.
Original title:US Retail Sales Rise Biggest in Eight Months as Consumers Hold On (抜粋）、 US October Retail Sales Increase 1.3%, Above Estimate (抜粋）)
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