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Source: Planalytics' news release

Cooler temperatures during the first half of September in the eastern half of the U.S. helped retail segments like specialty apparel and department stores boost sales performance vs. a difficult year ago period. Although a warm-up over the last couple of weeks will likely mean September 2017 averages out closer to normal.

A year ago (September 2016) temperatures were the warmest in over a half century for the country overall and these extended summer conditions led to soft early season sales for clothing and other seasonal merchandise. Planaytics projects that weather aided apparel specialty store sales by $555 million vs. 2016 due to the more favorable early month conditions.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma also brought major impacts to parts of Texas and Florida and their rainfall over wider parts of the country certainly hampered traffic levels. Planalytics projects that restaurants will see sales reduced by $394 million, primarily due to wetter conditions this year vs. September 2016.

For the populations directly impacted by the hurricanes, lost commerce (sales that don't get made up) was nearly $4 billion and those communities will be shifting spend away from discretionary purchases (apparel, sporting goods, etc.) to need-based items. Utility pumps, for example, saw a demand increase of over 300% in Florida during the Irma timeframe. The DIY sector will remain strong in these effected areas for weeks and months to come as people make repairs and rebuild.