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NRF: October marks fourth consecutive month of retail sales gains

Retail Editor 8 -- Home Textiles Today, November 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Retailers "have reason for optimism" this coming holiday season, noted the National Retail Federation, as October sales marked the fourth straight month of gains, suggesting consumer spending is "finally showing momentum."

October retail industry sales - which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants - increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted over September and 2.6% unadjusted over last year, the NRF reported.

"This continued momentum is good news for the industry, especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching," said Matthew Shay, president and ceo of NRF. "While there is no question that consumer demand has improved, there are still questions about consumer confidence tied to high unemployment. We need to see improvement in key economic indicators to sustain any long-term growth."

The U.S. Commerce Department reports that October sales, which it released TODAY, show total retail sales - which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - increased 1.2% seasonally adjusted over September and 5.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

"While spending throughout the industry was varied, it appears the fourth quarter has gotten off to a solid start," added Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. "October's results are a clear indicator that the economy and consumer spending continue to show marked improvement, even though we expect consumers to proceed with caution."

Cooler, more seasonal weather in October helped apparel and sporting goods stores' sales, as clothing and clothing accessory stores sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted over last month and 1.4% unadjusted over last year. Sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores increased 1.0% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 5.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

Related to home, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sales also showed solid growth with a 1.9% increase seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a 7.3% gain unadjusted over last year. Health and personal care stores sales decreased 0.1% seasonally adjusted from September but increased 1.6% unadjusted year-over-year.

 

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