September retail sales drop after strong August

LANSING – The Michigan Retailers Association on Thursday reported a drop in September sales compared to August numbers.

The September retail index survey stood at 47.6, down from August’s 61.2. Forty-seven (47%) percent of Michigan retailers reported declining sales; 40% noted an increase and 13% reported no change.

The seasonally adjusted performance index is produced by the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) in cooperation with the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The 100-point index provides a snapshot of the state’s entire retail industry. Index values ​​greater than 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

Positive outlook prevails

Fifty-six percent (56%) of retailers expect their sales to continue increasing through December, but 20% said they expect sales to decline. Twenty-four percent (24%) do not anticipate any change. This translates to an Index Rating of 68.4, an increase from last month’s Prediction Index rating of 60.7.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers are expected to spend $ 10.14 billion on Halloween, up from $ 8.05 billion in 2020. Per capita spending is expected to drop from $ 92.12 in 2020 to $ 102.74 . The NRF predicts that buyers will spend more than $ 3 million each on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy.

After Halloween-related spending closes this weekend, stores will be focusing on the upcoming holidays. The October Retail Trade Index report released next month will give an indication of when shoppers have started shopping for gifts.

Many stores encourage consumers to shop early to make sure they get what they are looking for.

“Retailers are currently being hit by a number of curve balls. They continue to face hiring challenges, supply chain issues, and price increases, which isn’t exactly where you want to be as the bigger time frame approaches. purchase of the year, ”said William J. Hallan, President and CEO of the MRA.

One retailer responded that it was seeing double-digit price increases from suppliers. Another noted that their Mondays were spent changing the prices of items in their store.

According to MRA’s September Retail Volume Report, clothing and shoe store volumes are up 88.62% from 2020. The furniture industry is up 23. 66%.

“Although we have seen a decline in sales month over month, the 3-month forecast index is strong. We hope to see it playing accurately as strong, or stronger, in the months to come. It is important to shop at your local stores, not only to support vital parts of your downtown area, but to make sure you get items under the tree on time.

Michigan’s unemployment rate for September 2021 has yet to be announced. In 2020, Michigan’s unemployment rate was 8.2%. In September 2021, the national unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, from 5.2% in August.

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