Michigan Retailers See Significant Increase in September Sales over August

September Retail Index rating also higher year-over-year

Michigan Retailers Association today reports that September 2022 sales increased over August 2022.

The September Retail Index survey came in at 61.5, a large jump up from August’s 49.3. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Michigan retailers reported a sales increase over August. Thirty-six percent (36%) noted a decrease, and 17% reported no change.

The 100-point Index provides a snapshot of the state’s overall retail industry. Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity, the higher the number, the stronger the activity.

“This month’s Index rating is well above last month‘s rate of (49.3) and September 2021’s rate of 47.6. This is the type of momentum retailers need going into the holidays, and we know some retailers have already begun holiday marketing and sales,” said William J. Hallan, President and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association. “We know there is the fear from many that they will not be able to get the gift they are seeking, so we encourage shoppers to get out early to their local retailers and Buy Nearby.”

The seasonally adjusted performance Index is conducted by Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch.

3-Month Outlook Dips, But Remains Positive
Forty-seven percent (47%) of retailers predict their sales will continue to rise through December, but 32% said they expect their sales to decline. Twenty-one percent (21%) anticipate no change. That results in a 59.5 Index rating, a slight decrease over last month’s prediction Index rating of 63.2, yet still a positive indication for high sales activity over the next three months and through the holiday season.

When asked to predict sales percentages comparing the fourth quarter in 2021 and 2022, survey respondents overall expect an increase. Twenty-five percent expect their sales to increase by more than 10%, 17% of retailers expect sales to increase by 5-10%, and 17% expect their sales to remain the same as last year. Only 8% of retailers expect a sales decrease by more than 10%.

On the contrast, 66% of retailers do not expect to change their hiring plans through December. Twenty percent expect to hire more, and 14% plan to hire less.

Halloween Spending
The NRF reports overall Halloween participation will return to pre-pandemic levels. Sixty-nine percent of people plan to celebrate, compared to 65% in 2021 and 68% in 2019. The National Retail Federation expects Halloween spending to exceed 2021’s record year. Spending is expected to reach $10.6 billion, above $10.1 billion in the previous year.

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in September compared to 3.7% in August. Last year, the national unemployment rate was 4.7%. Michigan’s unemployment rate for September has yet to be announced.