BUSINESS September Retail Sales Grew as Delta Variant Favored Spending on Goods Over Services By Staff Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:41 PM WASHINGTON—Retail sales increased again in September as worries about the COVID-19 delta variant pushed consumer spending toward merchandise rather than services like dining, entertainment or travel despite supply chain disruptions and inflation, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said last week.“Today’s retail sales data confirms the sheer power of the consumer to spend, and we expect this to continue,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Despite persistent challenges related to the global pandemic, supply chain and labor shortages, retailers and their partners have shown resilience and ingenuity in getting the workforce, goods and systems in place to serve their customers and the communities where they operate.Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in September were up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from August and up 13.9 percent year-over-year. That compares with increases of 0.9 percent month-over-month and 15.4 percent year-over-year in August. Despite occasional month-over-month declines, sales have grown year-over-year every month since June 2020, according to Census data.For the first nine months of the year, sales as calculated by NRF were up 14.5 percent over the same period in 2020. That is consistent with NRF’s revised forecast that 2021 retail sales should grow between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent over 2020 to between $4.44 trillion and $4.56 trillion. Click here to read the full story from the NRF.