Sales at American retail stores fell slightly in October, according to government data published Wednesday. The decline was driven by a large drop in consumer spending at furniture and home furnishings stores.
Sales in the world’s largest economy fell 0.1 percent in October to $705 billion, down slightly from a revised increase of 0.9 percent in the previous month, the Commerce Department said in a statement. The figure was slightly better than the median forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.
“Preliminary spending data suggests a decline in consumption in the fourth quarter, although the pace of spending remains strong,” US High Frequency Economics Chief Economist Rubeela Farooqi wrote in a note to clients.
A customer observes rising prices while shopping at a supermarket in Los Angeles, California, USA, June 13, 2022. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Despite challenges from tighter credit conditions and monetary policy, and higher prices due to inflation, “a still strong labor market, positive income trends and easing price pressures will keep consumer spending and growth positive for now,” he added.
Shopping at furniture and home furnishings stores experienced its largest monthly decline in October, by two percent compared to the previous month.
Consumer purchases at car dealers and gas stations also experienced sharp declines over the past year.
The US economy has remained resilient this year, despite concerted efforts by the US Federal Reserve to tackle high inflation by raising interest rates. (ps/lt)