Consumer spending

Retail sales rise 2.5 percent in October

national retail federationData released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday showed October retail sales rose 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted from September and 4.2 percent year-over-year.

“Consumer spending is growing as we head into the holiday shopping season and the timing couldn’t be better,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers seem to have found some sense of confidence, driven, in part, by lower gas prices. While positive gains were seen in most retail categories, retailers will continue to rely on heavy promotions to drive traffic and sales this holiday season.”

Sales at clothing and accessories stores increased by 1.4 percent from September, and electronics and appliance stores saw sales rise by 1.4 percent. Furniture sales rose by one percent from September, and sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.2 percent.

Health and personal care stores saw sales increase by 0.5 percent in September, and sales at nonstore retailers increased by 0.4 percent. Sales at sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores rose by 1.6 percent From September. The only retail sector to see a decline in sales in October were building material and garden equipment stores, which posted a 1.9 percent decrease in sales.

“The ever-resilient consumer continues to deliver better economic news,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Various retail segments contributed to this month’s growth showing that there is an ongoing pent-up demand by consumers. Confidence and sales should continue to improve. As the holiday season draws closer and closer, NRF remains confident in a good holiday shopping and sales season, which will be in line with our forecast.”

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