Positive retail sales numbers in the month of October point to a good holiday sales season ahead, according to the National Retail Federation.
October retail sales–excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants–increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over September and 4.2 percent unadjusted from 2012.
“Consumer spending is growing as we head into the holiday shopping season and the timing couldn’t be better,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “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.”
October retail sales released today 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.
“The ever-resilient consumer continues to deliver better economic news,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “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.”
In October, NRF released its holiday sales forecast, which predicts a 3.9 percent increase in sales over 2012, with holiday sales expected to reach $602.1 billion this year.