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10/06/2021

Mastercard SpendingPulse: September retail sales up 5.4% year-over-year

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Retail sales continued to grow in September, but at a slower pace compared to August.

U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive and gasoline) increased 5.4% year-over-year in September and rose 11.5% compared to September 2019, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. In August, retail sales were up 8.1% year-over-year.

E-commerce sales continue to grow even as consumers return to physical stores. Digital sales rose 11.5% year-over-year and 72.4% over 2019 — reflecting the ongoing demand for the convenience of digital commerce, the report said.

Specifically, discretionary spending is seeing strong growth. Restaurants, department stores, apparel, and jewelry sectors are up as consumers increasingly venture out to refresh their looks for events, occasions and vacations.

Mastercard noted that total retail sales have been growing every month, year-over-year, since September 2020 as consumer spending shows positive signs of recovery heading into the highly anticipated holiday season.

[Read More: Double-digit holiday sales increase is retailers ‘to lose,’ says AlixPartners]