Business

Early holiday shopping boosts October online spending

U.S. consumer spending rose in October as inflation-weary consumers took advantage of early holiday shopping discounts and deals offered by retailers including Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc (WMT.N), according to a report.

Adobe Analytics reported online spending rose 10.9% to $72.2 billion in October compared with the prior month, but was on par with $72.4 billion a year earlier.

Decades-high inflation, rising interest rates and the threat of a recession in the United States has made consumers cautious about their discretionary spending, forcing them to snap up products at the cheapest available price and start shopping early this holiday season.

Attempts by retailers to get rid of excess inventory by offering early discounts has also boosted sales of big-ticket items such as computers and televisions. Adobe said discounts offered in categories like electronics and toys have been as high as 17% and 15%, respectively.

“In October, we definitely did have a big sales movement in the Amazon Prime Day event…a lot of retailers ensured they had strong competitive discounts across that two day event that helped pick up spend,” said Vivek Pandya, Lead Insights Analyst for Adobe.

According to the report, sales of holiday décor rose 189%, compared to daily average sales in August. With the winter season around, outerwear apparel saw a 142% rise.

Early October, Adobe forecast online sales in November and December to rise 2.5% to $209.7 billion, compared with an 8.6% increase a year earlier, as people would bring forward purchases to as early as October.

However, this is expected to be the slowest pace at which U.S. online holiday sales will rise since at least 2015.

Adobe’s report relies on direct consumer transactions based on over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail websites.