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NRF: Retail sales rose in September

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Building supply purchases provided a lift

NRF: Retail sales rose in September

WASHINGTON – Retail sales in September were up 0.5% over August on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the National Retail Federation, and were up 3.2% year-over-year on an unadjusted basis. The numbers exclude sales of automobiles, or those at gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Retail appears to have navigated through some rough weather – literally,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Hurricane impacts were very clear, with a strong boost for building materials going a long way to offset downturns elsewhere. Results were mixed among several business lines but the bottom line was a good increase over August and strong growth from a year ago. While the hurricanes played a major role in the data, they did not fundamentally affect the upward path of the economy.”

September sales were up 3.6% on a three-month moving average compared with the same period a year ago, according NRF.

Specifics include:

  • Building materials and supplies stores showed the strongest increase, up 2.1% over August seasonally adjusted and up 7.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Online and other non-store sales were up 0.5% seasonally adjusted from August and up 5.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Clothing and accessories stores were up 0.4% seasonally adjusted from August and up 1.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores were up 0.3% seasonally adjusted over August and up 4.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores led declines, down 1.1% seasonally adjusted from August and down 5.3% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 0.4% seasonally adjusted from August but up 1.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores were down 0.4 percent from August and down 0.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods stores were down 0.2% seasonally adjusted from August and down 4.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

The September numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales, according to NRF, which notes that total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009. When automobiles, gas stations and restaurants are excluded, retail sales have increased year-over-year in all but one month since the beginning of 2010.



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