September 27th, 2022 | By: John Stewart

Research Brief: Retail Sales – September 2022

Pair of drivers back positive retail momentum. Store-based retail sales, which exclude automotive and gas purchases, as well as those made online or at bars and restaurants, ascended to a record mark in August. Much of this gain, however, was likely driven by rising prices, as inflation has sustained levels above 7 percent so far this year. Nevertheless, even after adjusting for inflation, core retail sales are up nearly 19 percent from the pre-pandemic tally, aided by a record national job count and easing gas prices, which are freeing up households’ wallets for in-store purchasing. An ongoing shift in consumer behavior, one with an emphasis on physical locations, is providing additional support, with foot traffic at most store types near or above 2019 levels. Store-based sales momentum has the potential to remain positive as the holidays approach and consumers seek out deals earlier than in prior years.