Retail sales up as supply chain holdups spur earlier holiday shopping



Consumer spending accelerated in October as shoppers kicked off the holiday shopping season earlier than usual due to the supply chain bottlenecks. 

Retail sales, a measure of spending at restaurants, stores and online, rose 1.7% last month, according to the Commerce Department. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a 1.4% increase. The reading was 16.3% above year-ago levels. 

September’s reading was revised up by 0.1 percentage points to 0.8%.

“October retail sales growth was led by holiday-friendly categories such as nonstore retailers (e-commerce shops such as and electronics stores,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.

Sales at nonstore retailers surged 4% while sales at electronics and appliance stores climbed 2.8%. 

A 3.9% spike in sales at gasoline stations came as prices at the pump climbed by more than 60% from the previous year to a seven-year high.  

Meanwhile, sales at food services and drinking places were unchanged. 

Retail sales excluding autos rose 1.7% month over month compared with the 1% gain that was expected. 


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