Retailers Can’t Blame Consumers Any More

by MR Magazine Staff

The truth hurts.U.S. retail sales in September and October rose at the fastest pace in two years, according to government data for October and revised data for September, both released Tuesday. The news contradicts a rash of retail and restaurant CEOs who have been blaming their poor sales on the presidential election, saying it has hammered consumer confidence and distracted would-be shoppers and diners. Last month, I wrote about how this excuse could come back to bite these companies, as investors who hoped sales would return after the election might be disappointed. It turns out that U.S. consumers have been spending — the gains just aren’t showing up across the board. Sales did not improve in October for furniture stores and restaurants, but those were the only two of 13 categories tracked by the government that didn’t notch sales growth. Car sellers, gas stations, and online merchants, meanwhile, saw outsize gains. Read more at Bloomberg.