Consumer Spending is Plenty Brisk at Quarter End
This morning, the Commerce Department announced retail sales advanced by a better-than-expected +1.9% in September, a substantial improvement from the +0.6% increase in August and the fastest pace in three months. The category breakdown suggests there were significant dollars spent on back-to-school clothes and supplies. Clothing and accessory stores (+11%), department stores (+9.7%) and sporting goods and book stores (+5.7%) all posted outsized gains. Almost all major categories showed increases last month, with auto dealers (+4.0%) and restaurant and bars (+2.1%) also making notable contributions.