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October retail sales increased 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted over September, and 4.2 percent unadjusted from 2012, signaling a strong holiday sales season ahead, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
According to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, consumers’ spending growth points to a renewed confidence, in part due to lower gas prices, yet retailers “will continue to rely on heavy promotions to drive traffic and sales this holiday season.”
“We remain optimistic that retailers will experience a healthy holiday season, but we also remain steadfast in our belief that Congress and the administration need to work together on policies that bolster confidence in our economy, spurring capital investment and job growth by business owners large and small,” Shay said. “This is key in order to sustain long term economic recovery that is currently being led by the retail industry.”
October retail sales, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 3.9 percent adjusted year-over-year.
In October, NRF released its holiday sales forecast, which indicated a 3.9 percent increase in sales over 2012. NRF believes that holiday sales will reach $602.1 billion this year.
Additional findings from the September retail sales report include:
- Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales decreased 1.9 percent seasonally-adjusted yet increased 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 1.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
- Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 1.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad.