Seasonally adjusted advanced estimates of United States retail and food services sales continued its upward trend for the month of September as sales continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels. Retail trade sales are estimated at $549.3 billion which is a 1.9% increase from August figures and up 5.4% year-over-year.
The largest year-over-year percent increases were seen in non-store retailers, up 23.8%, and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, who were up 19.1% from the prior year. On a month-over-month basis, clothing and clothing accessories stores represent the largest percent increase at 11% followed by department stores, up 9.7%, and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, and book stores, up 5.7%.
While food services and drinking-place sales had the largest year-over-year percent decrease of retail trade, down 14.4%, it is continuing to chip away at losses originating from COVID-19 as September sales increased 2.1% month-over-month. Despite these increases, food service and drinking place sales may not fully recover until after a vaccine becomes available.