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NRF: Retail sales up almost across the board

Washington - While warning that the economic impact of the government shutdown remains to be accounted for, the National Retail Federation today said September sales rose in every sector expect apparel.
Retail sales excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, rose 0.6% seasonally adjusted from last month, and 3.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores' sales increased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 4.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
Sales figures released today from the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total retail and food services sales, which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, decreased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month yet increased 3.2% adjusted year-over-year.

"The American consumer remains ever-cautious and value-driven but continues to spend," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. "Only time will tell if and when the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle will impact retailers and consumers this fall and winter."

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz chalked up some of the momentum to falling gas prices as well as rising housing and stock prices. "While far from robust, consumers are shopping, but they are spending both discriminately and moderately," he said "Volatility still persists in various retail sectors but spending has somewhat stabilized heading into the all-important holiday shopping season."
Additional segment results:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores' sales increased 0.1 percent seasonally-adjusted and 8.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores' sales decreased 0.5% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 0.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores' sales increased 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores' sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores' sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Nonstore retailers' sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 12.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores' sales increased 0.5% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

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