Economists expected consumers would splurge on retail sales in October and the economists got this one correct.

Advance Retail Sales from Census Department, chart by Mish

Advance Retail Sales

Today, the Commerce Department released Advance Retail Sales Data for October.

  •  Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October 2022, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $694.5 billion, up 1.3 percent from the previous month, and 8.3 percent above October 2021. 

  • Total sales for the August 2022 through October 2022 period were up 8.9 percent from the same period a year ago.

  • Retail trade sales were up 1.2 percent from September 2022, and up 7.5 percent above last year. 

  • Gasoline stations were up 17.8 percent from October 2021

  • Food services and drinking places were up 14.1 percent from last year.  

The key phrase in the report is "adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes."

For only the second time in the last eight months, Advance Retail Sales rose in real (inflation-adjusted terms).

Real vs nominal Retail Sales

Real vs nominal retail sales, data from Commerce Department and the BLS, chart by Mish

Real vs nominal Retail Sales detail since 2020

Real vs nominal retail sales, data from Commerce Department and the BLS, chart by Mish

Factoring in inflation, using the CPI as the deflator, real retail sales peaked in March of 2021 and remain below a level reached in April of 2022.

CPI jumps another 0.4% in October led by shelter and energy

For more on the CPI, please see CPI Jumps Another 0.4% in October Led by Shelter and Energy.

This material is based upon information that Sitka Pacific Capital Management considers reliable and endeavors to keep current, Sitka Pacific Capital Management does not assure that this material is accurate, current or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.

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