Retail sales jump amid rising prices

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Retail Sales increased 1.7% in October, the best month since March.

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why it matters: The numbers haven’t been adjusted for inflation, so some of that jump is because most everything costs more. Still, prices rising at the fastest pace in 30 years haven’t deterred some buyers.

big pictureUS consumer looks strong But economists are seeing pain beneath the surface. Government data masks pressure on Americans whose wage benefits don’t keep up with inflation.

  • Ellen Gaske, an economist at Prudential subsidiary PGIM, told Nerdshala that the savings “will become a pressure valve for low-income households” to deal with heavy gas, grocery or heating bills.
  • “The most affected families may have to withdraw so much that it reduces overall spending. That’s the risk I see,” says Gaske.
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Noteworthy: Spending at some of the country’s biggest retailers shows no sign of slowing down — partly because of inflation, partly because of higher demand.

  • Walmart saw 6% more transactions this time than last year. What people spent on the register jumped an average of 3%.
  • At Home Depot, the amount spent per visit rose to an average of $82—up 13% over the previous year.

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