Retail Sales Research Brief
Retail Sales Remain Strong Despite More Shoppers Staying Indoors
Consumer spending healthy in October. Core retail sales, which excludes gasoline and motor vehicles, rose 1.4 percent last month. Year over year, the increase was 14.9 percent as shoppers are flush with capital from pandemic-relief bills and the economic recovery that has pushed unemployment below 5 percent. Sales at gasoline stations are the most robust, growing nearly 47 percent over the past 12 months. A sharp rise in energy demand due to the return to offices in many areas globally is the primary catalyst for the rise in gas prices. Additionally, a 13 percent decline in U.S. crude oil production since prior to the health crisis has tightened supply.