Retail sales in October were up 5.6 percent year-over-year, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation.  “Today’s pickup in retail sales shows a healthy pace of spending and a sign of ongoing consumer strength which is consistent with the state of the US economy,”  said. “The figures bolster expectations for the major shopping period of the year, the holidays,” says Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist. “Thanks to a high level of consumer confidence surrounding the current and future economy, we expect spending to maintain its strong momentum.” The pickup in October was also due in part to delayed spending associated with the hurricanes in early fall, according to Kleinhenz.


October sales were up 4.3 percent on a three-month
moving average compared with the same period a year ago.


NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which released overall October sales – including automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – which indicated a seasonally adjusted increase from September and 4.6 percent above October 2017.

Specifics from key retail sectors

Online and other non-store | Sales were up 13.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Building materials and supplies stores | Sales were up 6.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Clothing and accessories stores | Sales were up 4.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Food and beverage stores | Sales were up 3.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Health and personal care stores | Sales were up 3.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year and unchanged from September.

General merchandise stores | Sales were up 3.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Furniture and home furnishings stores | Sales were up 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year and down 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Electronics and appliance stores | Sales were up 2.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

Sporting goods stores |  Sales were down 7 percent unadjusted year-over-year and up 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from September.

The October numbers come as retail continues a long-term pattern of increased sales. Total retail sales have grown year-over-year every month since November 2009, and retail sales as calculated by NRF – excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants— have increased year-over-year in all but one month since the beginning of 2010.


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