Retail sales climbed again in October marking four consecutive months of gains, noted the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
Monthly retail sales figures for October released today by the Department of Commerce reported an increase of 1.2 percent over September sales and 7.3 percent over October 2009. Retail sales excluding auto sales were up 0.4 percent over the previous month and 6.0 percent over October 2009.
Overall retail sales gains in October were bolstered by strong auto and auto parts sales. Among non-auto segments, building supply sales led the way in October with sales up 1.9 percent over September and an impressive 12.2 percent increase over October 2009. Although up only slightly in October, clothing and sporting goods sales rose substantially over October 2009, with gains of 3.5 and 6.7 percent respectively.
“Although still cautious and in search of value, the American consumer has returned,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “With four consecutive months of sales gains, retailers are happy to turn the page on the last three years and embrace a more optimistic future. As the holiday shopping season arrives, retailers are eager to attract these shoppers back to their stores with attractive product assortments and great deals.”
Unemployment, which has been the single largest drag on consumer spending, showed some easing in October with total job gains of 151,000, with 159,000 coming from the private sector.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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