US Retail Sales Increase due to the Damages Caused by the Hurricanes

The US retail sales increased by 1.6% in September mainly due to the damages hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused. The sector that benefited the most from the natural disaster is automobile industry. Many hurricane victims are buying new cars to replace the ones that were damaged during the disaster. Another industry with the increasing demand is energy. Last month gasoline prices went up to $2.50-$2.75 a gallon, which is 14 cents higher than the regular average.

Another sector that had a significant increase with the largest one-month jump in more than two years is restaurants, retail stores and online-shopping platforms with the increase of 1.6% in September. Overall increase in retail sales excluding gas and autos is 0.5%, the largest increase since January. Inflation was o.3% under the FED’s 2% target in September. Despite the increase in the retail sales, low inflation might slow down the FED’s plans of increasing interest rates this year.

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