Last month, sales rose at the slowest pace since the economy reopened after the lockdowns, a sign that the hospitality recovery will continue to expand.
According to preliminary data from the US Census Bureau, restaurants and pubs had seasonally adjusted sales of $ 55.6 billion in September. Those sales were up 2.1% from the seasonally adjusted volume of $ 54.5 billion in August.
That would be a significant increase in regular times, but it was roughly half the gains seen in July and August– –both in dollars and in percent. Overall, restaurant and pubs sales in September were 15%, or nearly $ 10 billion, below pre-coronavirus levels in January and February.
In August, the food and drink sector saw a 4.3% increase in food and drink. This was the most robust growth among the main categories recorded by the Census Bureau.
Total retail sales increased 1.9% in September. This was the largest increase in total sales since June. For the restaurant industry, however, this could be a threatening development as the National Restaurant Association suggests that many consumers may have shifted their spending from restaurants to other categories in September.
In fact, clothing stores (11%), department stores (9.7%), sporting goods, hobby and book stores (+ 5.7%) and car dealerships (4.0%) grew faster than the 2.1% increase in food and drinking places were well below the sales increases.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Commerce confirm that the The US retail market continues on its recovery path. US retail sales rose 1.9%, or $ 549.26 billion, in September, beating economists' expectations of a 0.7% increase for the month. Retail sales increased by 5.9% compared to the previous year.
However, there are still questions as to whether this resurgence is sustainable. "Today's data suggests that consumers are still driving the recovery – but there are growing doubts that the pace of activity can be maintained as income growth slows and savings are made," said James Watson, US chief economist at Oxford Economics, a report by S&P Market Intelligence.
The COVID-19 pandemic struck eating and drinking options as sales fell nearly $ 162 billion from expected levels due to the unadjusted data. With spending on non-restaurant foodservice operations in the lodging, arts / entertainment / recreation, education, healthcare and retail sectors reduced and the overall deficit in restaurant and foodservice sales over the past seven months, they should be $ 200 billion. Dollars have exceeded.
Earlier this year, the National Restaurant Association recently predicted that at least 100,000 restaurants would close this year due to the pandemic.