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Retail association expects Alabama consumer spending to continue growing

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 7:12 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Consumer spending will continue to grow in Alabama, the Alabama Retail Association believes, despite the war in Ukraine, inflation, and high gas prices. That’s because household finances nationwide have remained strong.

ARA’s Nancy Dennis says in Alabama, there was a nearly 8-percent growth in taxed sales in the first half of 2022 and “since May of 2020, sales have increased every month.” She added that “in some cases, those increases have been double-digit sales growth.”

Name Dropper is a family-owned baby supply store in Montgomery. Owner Brian Schroll says the last five months have been some of the busiest he’s witnessed, even better than those months in 2021.

With families out of town, summertime is generally slower for Schroll’s business, but he speculates about other contributing factors.

“With the gas prices going up, I don’t know if it’s correlating, but that’s why it’s slow these last few months, slower or last few weeks,” Schroll assessed.

After Alabama’s unprecedented high-taxed sales growth in 2021, that growth is expected to return to normal levels of between 2% to 4% percent, and gas is just one reason.

“We’ve had the war of Ukraine, that’s also out there affecting all this,” said Dennis, “and then, of course, we’re entering hurricane season.”

All of these factors will affect how people shop.

Schroll says prices on some items, like cribs, have gone up, some by almost double, “but like, it hadn’t really stopped people from shopping.”

Most of this does come down to personal finances, but Dennis says numbers are expected soon from the Alabama Department of Revenue, which will paint a clearer picture of sales from May.

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