October 31, 2019 – Retail sales (excluding auto sales) growth remained at 3.7 percent in September, marking the third month in a row of more modest consumer spending. Sales at restaurants, pharmacies and health care stores got a boost in September, while sales at gas stations, clothing and electronic stores declined. Retail sales excluding food services, gas stations, autos and building materials sales—which feed into the calculation of GDP—also stayed flat in September, indicating that GDP is unlikely to be impacted.
Forward looking indicators of the consumer sector such as average hourly earnings are pointing towards a more modest pace of consumer spending in Q4. Our focus will be on the consumer confidence measures as we look for signs that consumers are becoming worried about the economy
— said Michael Brown, Principal U.S. Economist at Visa.
Despite slowing job creation, the labor market continues to support consumer spending growth. However, drops in confidence and rising consumer goods prices are offsetting positive effects from the job market
— said Eric Warner, U.S. Economist at Visa.