CONSUMER

Retail sales up a solid 0.7% in September as American consumers defy rising prices, interest rates

Oct 17, 2023, 10:22 AM | Updated: 11:25 am

File - A man looks at the Apple's new iPhone 15 models on the first day of sales at an Apple Store ...

File - A man looks at the Apple's new iPhone 15 models on the first day of sales at an Apple Store in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2023. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department releases U.S. retail sales data for September. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans kept spending in September at a solid pace even as they grappled with higher prices and interest rates.

Retail sales rose 0.7% in September, more than twice what economists had expected, and close to a a revised 0.8% bump in August, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Retail sales in August were inflated after gasoline prices spiked, however. That was not the case in September. since begun to decline.

Excluding sales from gas and autos, retail sales rose 0.6%.

September’s uptick in retail sales, the sixth consecutive monthly gain, reflects how the U.S. economy has remained resilient despite attempts by the Federal Reserve to cool spending and hiring. Yet spending has been volatile after surging nearly 3% in January. Sales tumbled in February and March before recovering in the spring and summer.

Spending at restaurants were up 0.9%, while spending online rose 1.1% last month, according to the report. Sales at general merchandise stores rose 0.4%.

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Retail sales up a solid 0.7% in September as American consumers defy rising prices, interest rates