In the US, retail sales have grown steadily over the past decade. In 2009, total US retail sales amounted to $3.61 trillion. Fast forward a decade to 2019, and that number has grown to $5.45 trillion.

This is a 50.91 percent increase over a ten-year period and a 3.42 percent year-over-year growth from the previous year’s retail sales figures. 

Despite retail sales growth in 2019, figures show a slight slowdown in the year-over-year increase when compared with 2017 to 2018’s growth of 4.23 percent. In 2017, US retail sales breached the $5 trillion mark for the very first time in history. 

This is, however, nowhere near the relatively meager 1.90 percentage growth from 2014 to 2015—the smallest year-over-year increase of the decade.

The strongest annual growth in the past ten years came in 2011. At just over $4.1 trillion, it marked a whopping 7.47 percent increase from 2010’s total retail sales figures.

US Retail Sales in 2020

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Even though US retail sales have been rising steadily over the past decade, there was a halt to this growth in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

This is evident in the US retail sales statistics in April, where sales fell to $382.7 billion. This was a 12.66 percent fall from the previous month and a 15.33 percent year-over-year decrease.

According to official data, clothing stores were the hardest hit as their April sales figures plummeted 86.4 percent year-over-year. Furniture store sales also fell drastically by 58.7 percent from April 2019.

On the other hand, health and personal care retail stores marked an 11.1 percent year-over-year increase in sales.

Consumer sentiment has been on the rebound since. Retail sales rose to $448.8 billion in May, a 17.26 percent increase from April. This figure grew further to $479.8 billion in June and has been increasing ever since. Monthly US retail sales hit an all-time high of $497.7 billion in October as consumers got a headstart on their holiday shopping. 

Overall, total retail sales in the US for the first ten months of 2020 closed at $4.64 trillion, a 2.45 percent year-over-year increase. If this growth continues, 2020 will be on track to record the highest US retail sales within a year.

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