New monthly "CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor," powered by Affinity Solutions, launches today, offering a more accurate, timely & in-depth look at U.S. retail sales

The October 2023 CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor Sales Data Is Now Available

"The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor will provide comprehensive, granular and timely insights that measure monthly retail sales and gauge the state of the retail industry, the consumer and the broader economy."

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation (NRF) and CNBC today announced the launch of their new monthly “CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor,” powered by Affinity Solutions, and the release of October 2023 retail sales data. The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor uses actual, real-time debit and credit card purchase data to provide more accurate and timely insights into retail sales activity across all U.S. sectors, categories and markets. The companies announced their partnership and the benefits of the new Retail Monitor for the retail industry and the broader economy on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Click here to watch.

The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor leverages Affinity Solutions’ data from more than 140 million credit and debit cards, with nearly nine billion transactions totaling more than $500 billion in annual spending, to measure the monthly and annual change in U.S. retail sales.

“The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor will provide comprehensive, granular and timely insights that measure monthly retail sales and gauge the state of the retail industry, the consumer and the broader economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor will modernize how retail sales are tracked and measured, and Affinity Solutions’ vast dataset of how, what and where the consumer is spending will identify how key demographics and channels are performing for the industry generally and for specific retail sectors.”

“CNBC is pleased to join with NRF and Affinity to offer this data. Our audience, investors and executives alike, will now be armed with dynamic insights that go beyond headline numbers to show emerging trends and critical detail,” CNBC Senior Vice President of Business News Dan Colarusso said.

“The Retail Monitor heralds a new era of retail intelligence, where data isn't just a resource – it's a roadmap to understanding and engaging with the modern consumer,” Affinity Solutions CEO and founder Jonathan Silver said. “Through Affinity Solutions’ work with NRF and CNBC, we're equipping businesses with the power to anticipate and adapt to the fast-paced and iterative retail market.”

The Retail Monitor data will be announced approximately one week prior to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Retail Sales figures. CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, will provide in-depth analysis of the monthly retail sales findings across CNBC’s multiple platforms.

The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor offers a headline monthly and annual look at retail sales performance figures for the following:

  • Total retail sales (excluding auto, gas);
  • Core retail sales (excluding auto, gas and restaurants); and
  • 9 distinct retail sectors plus restaurants.

The data will be shown both seasonally and not seasonally adjusted. Unlike survey-based measures, once the monthly CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor data is released, it is final and will not be revised monthly or annually. To access the CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor sales data, click here. Data used must be credited to “CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor.”

The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor is a product that was jointly developed by CNBC and NRF’s new Center for Retail & Consumer Insights, together with Affinity Solutions. CRCI is NRF’s hub for data-driven insights into the modern retail industry and the consumers who drive it.


CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor’s October 2023 Retail Sales Data

In October, total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gas, were down .08% from September and up 2.57% year over year. That compared with increases of 0.23% month over month and 4.93% year over year in September. 

October Retail Monitor

The Retail Monitor calculation of core retail sales — which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail — shows that retail sales were essentially flat, coming in marginally down .03% seasonally adjusted from September and up 2.63% year over year, unadjusted. In September, sales were up 0.09% month over month and up 4.39% year over year.

October sales were up in five out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by non-store, sporting goods/hobby/music/bookstores, and health and personal care, and up or unchanged in four out of nine categories on a monthly basis. Specifics from key sectors include:

  • Online and other non-store sales were up 1.18% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 29.1% year over year unadjusted.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, music and bookstores were up 1.45% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 8.88% year over year unadjusted.
  • Health and personal care stores were up 0.77% month over month seasonally adjusted and up 5.98% year over year unadjusted.
  • Food and beverage stores were up 0.23% month over month and up 2.59% year over year unadjusted.
  • General merchandise stores were down 0.57% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 1.57% year over year unadjusted.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were down 0.78% month over month and up 2.72% year over year unadjusted.
  • Building and garden supply stores were down 0.5% month over month and up 0.89% year over year unadjusted.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 1.29% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 5.24% year over year unadjusted.
  • Electronics and appliance stores were down 1.38% month over month seasonally adjusted and down 4.66% year over year unadjusted.

To learn more, visit and

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

About CNBC
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than half a billion people per month across all platforms. The network’s 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit   

About Affinity Solution
Affinity Solutions (Affinity) is the leading consumer purchase insights company. We provide a comprehensive view of U.S. consumer spending, across and between brands, via exclusive access to fully permissioned data from over 140 million debit and credit cards. This data is transformed into actionable insights for marketers, consultancies, and financial services companies to drive market share and revenue growth. Affinity powers Comet™, a powerful data-led intelligence platform that enables marketers to effortlessly plan, activate, and measure media to purchase-based outcomes. To learn more about Affinity Solutions visit

NRF: Mary McGinty |
CNBC: Melissa Castro |
Affinity Solutions: Stephanie Geno |