NRF: September Retail Sales Up 4.5%

Retail sales in September were up 4.5% year-over-year, but down 0.1% seasonally adjusted from August as the National Retail Federation cited ongoing consumer concerns over U.S.-China tensions for the slight decrease between August and September.

The figures exclude sales from automobile dealers, gas stations and restaurants.

“While uncertainty around trade policy and other issues has dampened consumer sentiment recently, consumers still have a lot going for them as evidenced by longer-term trends and factors like the tight labor market,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist with the NRF.

Figures from the NRF are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said that overall September sales, including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants, were down 0.3% seasonally adjusted from August but up 4.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

September highlights from key retail sectors:

• Online and other non-store sales were up 15.6% year-over-year.
• Health and personal care stores were up 4.2% year-over-year.
• Furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.1% year-over-year.
• General merchandise stores were down 0.2% year-over-year.
• Electronics and appliance stores were down 1.7% year-over-year.