Retail sales across Michigan picked up in August from the prior month, although a monthly index shows activity lagging from a year earlier.
The Retail Index from the Michigan Retailers Association and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch registered a 60.1 for August. That compares to 54.7 in July and a 73.2 for August 2018.
Half of the retailers responding to the association’s monthly survey reported an increase in sales for August over July, and 27 percent reported decreases.
Looking ahead, 54 percent of retailers answering the survey expect sales increases through November and 22 expect a decline. The results led to an adjusted outlook index of 65.8, which the Michigan Retailers Association describes as “a strong sign as businesses edge toward the holidays.”
“August continued the bounce back from the slow spring sales. With high schools starting classes earlier, it forced parents to shop earlier,” said association President and CEO William Hallan. “As store owners prepare their inventory and workforce for the holidays, we hope to see another increase in sales.”
The association notes that Halloween traditionally represents a force for fall sales.
The National Retail Federation projects the average shopper will spend more than $86 on Halloween products, equating to $8.8 billion in total spending nationally. The Retail Federation expects costume spending alone to account for $3.2 billion.