The month of September has seen headline line retail sales rise 1.9 per cent.  

Following a rise in sales to 0.6 per cent in the month of August, predictions had been made that September would see a small increase, with sales going up to 0.7 per cent. The growth in one month has shown the resilience of the retail market. Clothing and accessories rose by 11 per cent whilst lifestyle items such as sporting goods, books and music grew by 5.7 per cent. Electronics was the only sector to display negative results, dropping by 1.6 per cent from August.

Despite a positive result for the month of September, concerns are still present for the remainder of the year considering Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise.

“The strength in August sales is welcome, and consumers in aggregate have the resources – in the form of the huge increase in savings deposits built up since the spring – to finance a strong holiday season. The problem is the virus. Cases are rising at only a modest pace in the more populous states, but we can’t be sure that will continue, and the message from states where cases have risen to very high levels is that economic activity begins to suffer very quickly,” commented Ian Shepherdson, Chief Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.