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WASHINGTON - Based on retail sales figures released on Thursday by the Department of Commerce, it appears that consumers are still spending, and are gearing up to shop this holiday season, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.
NRF figures show that November retail sales in the GAFS category, which includes general merchandise stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, furniture and home furnishings stores, electronics and appliances stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, rose 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from October 2002 and 3.0 percent unadjusted year-to-year. Figures released by the Commerce Department also show that total retail sales (including autos and restaurants) were up 0.4 percent month-to-month and increased 2.1 percent from the prior year, due to sluggish sales of automobiles in November.
"We are very pleased with these numbers," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin, during her remarks on Thursday at the Department of Commerce. "All sectors of the industry seemed to perform well, reinforcing our forecast for roughly 4.0 percent growth in holiday sales from 2001."