Retail sales unexpectedly rise as workers return to office


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Retail sales up 0.7% in September

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Consumer spending rose unexpectedly in September as retailers benefited from back-to-school shopping and more workers returning to the office.

Retail sales, a measure of restaurant, store and online spending, rose 0.7% last month to $625.4 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting a 0.2% drop. The reading was up 14.9% from a year ago level.

anchor the protection The last Change Change %
wmt Walmart, Inc. 140.95 +1.15 +0.82%
TGT Target Corp. 243.52 +1.58 +0.65%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,309.18 +9.32 +0.28%

The August reading was revised up to a 0.9% gain from the previous print of 0.7% growth.

“People who have returned to work in a downtown office may take more shopping trips on the lunch break or after work,” said Natalie Kotliar, national leader of BDO’s retail and consumer products practice. “With school season back and many teens vaccinated, parents may also be more comfortable allowing their teens to take shopping trips to the mall.”

anchor the protection The last Change Change %
Cost Costco Wholesale Corporation 451.70 +1.04 +0.23%
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Gasoline stations saw month-on-month growth of 1.6% and were 38.2% higher than year-on-year levels. Meanwhile, food services and drinking places posted growth of 3.7% last month and jumped 29.5% over the previous year.

Retail sales excluding auto grew 0.8% month-on-month, compared to a 0.2% decline that was anticipated. Ex-auto, retail sales up 2% in August.

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