By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO Editor AP Retail
NEW YORK (AP) – Americans continued to spend at a strong pace in September, even amid the shock of stickers in the aisles of grocery stores, parking lots and restaurants, as booming global supply chains slow the flow of merchandise.
Seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 0.7% in September from the previous month, the US Department of Commerce said on Friday.
It was a stronger performance than expected. Still, concerns persist about the resilience of buyers if prices continue to move north and shortages cause frustration as the crucial holiday season approaches.
Consumer spending is responsible for about 70% of all economic activity in the United States, and a sustained recovery from a pandemic-induced recession will require their participation.
However, there is no evidence that Americans are pulling out, and spending the past month has been heavy everywhere from clothing, sporting goods and toy stores to car fleets.
âThey come to enjoy the experience with their family that they haven’t been able to have for a long time,â said Tiffany Markofsky, communications manager at a small chain of toy stores called Camp.
Camp reports heavy traffic in stores and has been able to obtain popular toys through close ties with its suppliers, Markofsky said.
Part of the increase in consumer spending is a direct result of soaring prices. A gallon of gasoline costs about $ 1 more today than it did this time last year, so in many cases Americans don’t buy more, they just pay more.