U.S. Retail Sales Rise in October

Retail sales for the month were also up 4.1 percent on a three-month moving average, compared to 2016.

NORTH AMERICA–Retail sales in October were up 0.1 percent over September on a seasonally adjusted basis and increased 4.3 percent year-over-year unadjusted, according to the National Retail Federation.

October sales were also up 4.1 percent on a three-month moving average, compared with the same period a year ago.

“There was broad strength across most sectors, and households clearly have the wherewithal to spend going into the holiday season,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “The uplift in October payroll and income has generated a healthy pace of retail spending and household debt burdens are historically low. Congressional action on tax reform should help boost confidence, but it is important that lawmakers keep up their momentum and not let details of the legislation get in the way of achieving such a long-sought goal.”

Retail highlights from October include:

  • Sporting goods stores were up 1.5 percent over September seasonally adjusted, but down 2.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and accessories stores increased 0.8 percent from September and were up 0.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores were also up 0.8 percent over September and were up 4.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores increased 0.7 percent over September and were up 4.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores also increased 0.7 percent from September and increased 2.1 percent year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores were unchanged from September, but increased 1.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Online and other non-store sales were down 0.3 percent from September, but were up 9.6 percent year-over-year.
  • Building materials and supplies stores also decreased 1.2 percent over September, but increased 11 percent year-over-year.

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