United States retail sales showed gains in October, according to data issued this week by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Commerce reported that October retail sales, at $526.5 billion, were up 0.3% compared to September and up 3.1% annually. And it added that total retail sales for the three-month period from August through October headed up 3.8% compared to the same period a year ago.
NRF reported that October retail sales were up 0.2% from September to October on a seasonally adjusted basis and up 4.2% on an unadjusted basis. NRF’s numbers do not include automobile dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.
For the three-month period from August through October, retail sales were up 4.3% annually compared to the 4.7% through September. NRF said that October’s numbers help to remove a fair amount of September’s 0.2% decline.
“October’s retail sales are a step forward into the all-important holiday season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Uncertainty around trade policy has impacted consumer sentiment recently but ongoing job growth, low interest rates, low inflation and the stock market hitting record highs provide support for consumer spending.”
And he added that October’s annual growth is impressive, as it up against October 2018, which posted a 5.8% annual gain over October 2017.
Industry performance: NRF reported that online and other non-store sales were up 14.6% year-over-year and up 0.9% month-over-month seasonally adjusted, while general merchandise stores were up 1.9% year-over-year and up 0.4% month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
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