"Consumers are in a good place and October's retail sales are a step forward into the all-important holiday season."NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz
WASHINGTON – Retail sales in October increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over September and were up 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“Despite the gradual slowdown in the U.S. economy, consumers are in a good place and 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.”
October’s results make up for most of the 0.3 percent month-over-month decline seen in September and build on September’s year-over-year increase of 4.1 percent. As of October, the three-month moving average was up 4.3 percent over the same period a year ago, compared with 4.7 percent in September.
Kleinhenz said October’s year-over-year growth was particularly impressive because it compares with October 2018 sales that were up an unusually strong 5.8 percent over the same month in 2017.
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said today that overall October sales – including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants – were up 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from September and up 3.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Specifics from key retail sectors during October include:
- Online and other non-store sales were up 14.6 percent year-over-year and up 0.9 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Grocery and beverage stores were up 4 percent year-over-year and up 0.5 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- General merchandise stores were up 1.9 percent year-over-year and up 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Health and personal care stores were up 1.7 percent year-over-year but unchanged month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.6 percent year-over-year but down 0.9 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Sporting goods stores were up 0.4 percent year-over-year but down 0.8 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Building materials and garden supply stores were down 0.2 percent year-over-year and down 0.5 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Clothing and clothing accessory stores were down 1.7 percent year-over-year and down 1 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
- Electronics and appliance stores were down 3 percent year-over-year and down 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally adjusted.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.