Skip to main content

Retail Sales Jump More Than Expected But Inflation is Part of the Picture

Retail sales clobbered expectations rising 0.7% in September. Sales are not adjusted for inflation.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:
Advance Retail Sales Detail 2021-09

Advance Retail Sales

The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for September shows a large and unexpected jump in sales.

The Bloomberg Econoday consensus was for  sales to decline 0.1%. They missed the boat badly. 

Key Details 

  • Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $625.4 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent from the previous month, and 13.9 percent above September 2020. 
  • Total sales for the July 2021 through September 2021 period were up 14.9 percent from the same period a year ago. 
  • The July 2021 to August 2021 percent change was revised from up 0.7 percent to up 0.9 percent. Retail trade sales were up 0.8 percent from August 2021, and up 12.2 percent  above last year. 
  • Gasoline stations were up 38.2 percent from September 2020, while food services and drinking places were up 29.5 percent from last year.  

One thing the numbers don't say is that retail sales are still below the last stimulus spike in March of 2021.

The three stimulus spikes are clearly visible, April 2020, January 2021, and March 2021.

Scroll to Continue


Again, these numbers are not adjusted for inflation. 

For discussion of the latest CPI data, please see Consumer Prices Rise Another 0.4% a Bit More Than Economists Expected

Thanks For Tuning In!

Like these reports?

If so, please Subscribe to MishTalk Email Alerts.

Subscribers get an email alert of each post as they happen.Read the ones you like and you can unsubscribe at any time.

If you have subscribed and do not get email alerts, please check your spam folder.