November 17, 2020
Today the U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary estimates of nationwide retail sales in October 2020 and revised estimates for September 2020. (The data include both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales.)
Monthly Sales Remained Higher Than Last Year. October was the sixth straight month of growth in U.S. retail sales and the fifth straight month in which sales were higher than last year. In particular, seasonally adjusted sales rose by 0.3 percent from September to October, making sales in October 2020 5.7 percent higher than sales in October 2019.
2020’s Ten-Month Total Nearly Equals 2019’s. The strong growth in U.S. retail sales in the late spring through the early fall has offset nearly all of the losses in March and April. Total retail sales in January through October 2020 were just 0.1 percent lower than total retail sales in January through October 2019.