Skip to main content

SpendingPulse report: U.S. retail spending gains momentum in October


Purchase, N.Y. A report release Thursday by MasterCard Advisors said that in October total retail sales, ex-auto, grew by 3.3% year-over-year, the strongest year-to-year pace since April.

Similarly, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking national retail and service sales, seasonally adjusted month-to-month sales were up by 3.1%. Excluding both auto and gasoline, on a seasonally unadjusted basis, year-over-year sales in October grew by 2.7%, slightly more than double September’s 1.3% increase.

“Retail spending seems to have finally gained some momentum after several months of sluggishness, showing a year-over-year growth rate better than twice the average of the previous three months,” said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, October was up 3.1%, which was the third straight month of growth, following four months of decline. And while the rebound in gasoline spending has helped drive the retail number, the ex-auto, ex-gas numbers show a moderate resurgence as well.”

Sectors showing positive results included e-commerce and grocery, with apparel showing particular strength -- its third consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Department store sales declined, as did electronics and appliances, despite earlier growth, and airlines posted their first decline since June 2009.

Spending grew in every part of the country, with the best unadjusted year-over-results in the Mid-Atlantic and South Central regions at close to or above 5.5%, according to the report. The Northeast, Pacific and Great Plains lagged, posting gains of between 1% and 2% on a seasonally unadjusted year-over-year basis.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds