October 16, 2020
Today the U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary estimates of nationwide retail sales in September 2020 and revised estimates for August 2020. (The data include both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales.)
Monthly Sales Remained Higher Than Last Year. September was the fifth straight month of growth in U.S. retail sales and the fourth straight month in which sales were higher than last year. In particular, seasonally adjusted sales rose by 1.9 percent from August to September, making sales in September 2020 5.4 percent higher than sales in September 2019.
Total Sales in First Three Quarters of 2020 Slightly Below First Three Quarters of 2019. The strong growth in U.S. retail sales in the late spring and summer has offset most of the losses in March and April. Total retail sales in January through September 2020 were just 1 percent lower than total retail sales in January through September 2019.