Retail sales slipped in September

Washington — Held in check by sluggish car sales, retail sales dipped by 0.2 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted level of $320.6 billion, giving up some of August's hefty 1.2 percent increase, the Commerce Department reported.

But auto sales aside, the overall picture actually improved, with retail sales of all other products in the agency's shopping cart increasing by 0.3 percent, to a seasonally adjusted $243.9 billion from $243.3 billion the prior month.

Sales of home-related categories presented a mixed picture during the month, as sales in furniture and home furnishings stores slipped by 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $8.5 billion; and sales in electronics and appliance stores declined at a slightly faster pace, by 0.3 percent, to a seasonally adjusted $8.1 billion. But helped by warm summer weather, sales in building material and garden supply outlets, like Home Depot and Lowe's, shot up by 1.9 percent, to a seasonal level of $27.9 billion, making that channel the month's biggest winner.

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See the May 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we discuss our annual Market Basket survey, which finds higher prices and more polyester at leading retailers. See details!