The Conference Board, a private research group, reported its index of consumer confidence fell to 86 in September, down from its August revised level of 93.4, and was an unexpected pullback from previous consumer optimism. While August was the index’s highest level in seven years, the September drop now puts it back to its lowest reading since May.
The effect on retail metrics was noticeable, as Average Transaction Value (ATV) and Sales per Shopper (SPS) showed only small increases of 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, down from their growth rates observed through the summer. With regards to store traffic, brick-and-mortar stores reported a decline of just 3.6 percent, a minimal decrease from traffic declines reported earlier in the year.
As usual, not all regions of the country fared the same. Traffic in the Northeast was down 10.9 percent, while flat in the South and down only 0.5 percent in the West. The West posted the strongest results with an increase in Sales of 1.4 percent and an increase in ATV of 3.1 percent.
RetailNext publishes its monthly Composite Index report the first week of every month. Download the full September Composite Index report (published in October) here.
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