NRF: October Retail Sales Up 5.6%

With the holidays approaching, consumers have not slowed their spending in October as retail sales for the month were up 5.6% year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“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 U.S. economy,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist with the NRF. “The figures bolster expectations for the major shopping period of the year, the holidays. Thanks to a high level of consumer confidence surrounding the current and future economy, we expect spending to maintain its strong momentum.”

Kleinhenz noted that the sales growth in October was also due, in part, to delayed spending associated with hurricanes in the early fall.

For October, online and other non-store sales were up 13.9%, general merchandise store sales were up 3.4%, furniture and home furnishings store sales up 3.2% and sales at electronics and appliance stores were up 2.4%.