Retail spending ticked upward in September, growing 1.9 percent from the previous year:
We’re not even close to making up the huge loss in spending from the first few months of the pandemic lockdowns, but we probably never will. However, that downturn produced pent-up demand which is now starting to turn into higher spending levels.
As always, however, this is an average. It shows that on average the economy is doing OK. But as we know from other metrics, this means the middle class and the affluent are spending more while the working poor are spending less. They’re the ones who have suffered most from the pandemic, and they’re the ones who need the most help. That’s why Congress needs to pass a coronavirus assistance bill.