August U.S. Retail Sales Rise Despite Challenges

U.S. retail sales increased during August as consumer demand outweighed the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and other factors affecting spending, says the National Retail Federation. “Retail sales in August overcame unusual twists and turns that have affected shopping behaviour both in terms of the timing and composition of sales,” says Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “The consumer remains rock solid despite the trifecta of macroeconomic headwinds we’ve seen this year, including tapering off of government stimulus, elevated COVID-19 infections, and ongoing supply chain challenges in the form of shortages of labour and goods. Higher sales came even with a disjointed back-to-school season that also affected the timing of sales as many school districts returned to in-person learning, but some delayed classes until after Labour Day. These results pave the way for sturdy consumer spending and a strong economy in the fourth quarter.”