U.S. Retail Sales Rose in October at Slowest Pace in Six Months

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “U.S. Retail Sales Rose in October at Slowest Pace in Six Months” – below is their description.

U.S. retail sales rose in October at the slowest pace in six months, suggesting consumers are becoming more hesitant amid a surging pandemic and lack of fresh federal stimulus. The value of total sales increased 0.3% from the prior month, when there was a downwardly revised 1.6% gain, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.5% increase. Excluding autos and gasoline, sales rose 0.2%, compared with estimates for a 0.6% gain. Weaker momentum in consumer spending — which accounts for two-thirds of the economy — indicates growth could slow more sharply following the third quarter’s record jump in gross domestic product. November and December could prove tougher with states and cities reimposing restrictions on indoor dining and non-essential business to contain a rampant coronavirus, while hopes for additional fiscal stimulus this year keep fading and political uncertainty hangs over government policy. “The fact that the retail sales were a little weaker in October reinforces the idea that if the pandemic gets worse and there’s more shutdowns and restrictions, that the November data, which we haven’t gotten yet, will be even softer,” former Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said on Bloomberg Television. A separate report Tuesday showed U.S. manufacturing production rose at a solid pace in October, marking the sixth straight advance as factories continued to recover from the depths of earlier pandemic-driven lockdowns. U.S. stocks fell at the open, while 10-year Treasury yields and the dollar were lower. The subdued retail figures followed strong quarterly results earlier Tuesday from two large retailers — Home Depot Inc. and Walmart Inc. Home Depot’s comparable sales jumped 24.1% in the latest quarter from a year ago as the home-improvement retailer benefited from a surge in renovation activity, while Walmart’s sales also climbed more than projected as online demand soared at the world’s largest retailer. The retail report provides a snapshot of activity in October: eight of the 13 major retail categories decreased, led by clothing and sporting goods and hobby stores. Nonstore retailers — which include online vendors like Amazon.com Inc. — recorded the biggest increase, at 3.1%. Restaurants and bars recorded the first decline since the initial depths of the pandemic in April, a sign that colder weather is discouraging the outdoor dining that kept many businesses afloat during the summer. So-called control group sales — often a more reliable gauge of underlying demand — increased 0.1% from the prior month, missing forecasts. That figure excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations. While overall retail sales rose 5.7% from a year earlier, several categories remain well below pre-pandemic levels, including gasoline stations, clothing stores and restaurants. The data point to spending that’s moderating at the start of the fourth quarter as coronavirus cases rise in every U.S. state, prompting some, including California and New Jersey, to issue new restrictions. Other regions have paused full reopenings. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/qt/live, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Connect with us on… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bloomberg Breaking News on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BloombergQuickTakeNews Twitter: https://twitter.com/quicktake Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quicktake Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quicktake

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