After a period of recovering consumer sentiment, inflation and concerns over personal finances have started to erode the gains made during the summer months, leading to a decline in the Consumer Sentiment Index since its peak in July 2023. In October alone, consumer sentiment plummeted by more than 7% on a month-to-month (MTM) basis, painting a less optimistic outlook for retailers anticipating robust holiday sales.
September retail sales increased 4%, with MTM sales increasing .6%, exceeding analysts' expectations with strong increases in food services and dining (9.2%), non-store retail (8.4%), and health and personal care (8.3%). However, key hard goods segments continue to show year-over-year (YOY) declines as consumers continue to hold off purchases on durable goods and discretionary purchases.
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