The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Retail sales show shutdown had little effect, promising for holiday shopping

According to the most recent
retail sales in the U.S., consumers did not hesitate to spend during the wake
of the government shutdown. Sales rose .4 percent compared to last month and
jumped 3.9 percent compared to October 2012.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales in October were down .1 percent from sales in September, coming in at .2 percent.

After Congress authorized back pay for all federal workers during the shutdown, it was feared the economy may take a hit. These strong reports show that this was not the case.

Nathan Balke, professor of practice at SMU, isn’t surprised that the shutdown had little affect.

“Given that the government shutdown was so short lived, it was unlikely to have a large effect on private spending,” said Balke.

Core retail sales, which do not include motor vehicle sales, business materials and garden stores, and gas stations, rose .5%. This figure matches July for the biggest gain of the year.

There was also a 1.4 percentage gain in electronic sales, which is likely doe to the much-anticipated release of the new iPhone 5.

Based on these results, some retailers are confident about holiday shopping.

I do feel confident about sales for this holiday season. However, the trend of how we shop and the average dollar amount of sales has significantly changed over the past few years,” said Carmen Kirby, owner of Bella Mia Boutique in Champaign, Illinois.

Balke, on the other hand, is a little more weary.

“I think that the coming holiday sales numbers will be slightly better than last year’s numbers; however, I do not expect strong sales growth as (governmental) policy uncertainty is likely to cause consumers and business to put off purchases until some of this uncertainty is resolved,” he said.

Because it is clear the shutdown did not affect consumer shopping, there is nothing stopping holiday shoppers from continuing shopping like any other year.

“The shutdown will definitely not have an impact on our holiday shopping,” said SMU senior Addison Fontein. “We plan on doing our shopping the same as every other year, and department stores will certainly reap the benefits.”

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