Retail sales in the US increased last month as Christmas shopping started early, according to data from The National Retail Federation (NRF).

The figures, based on data from the US Census Bureau, showed that retail sales during the month increased by 1.7% seasonally adjusted from September and 16.3% year-over-year (YoY).

Retail sales in October, excluding those at automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, rose by 1.7% seasonally adjusted from the previous month and were up by 10.8% unadjusted YoY.

During the month, sales in clothing and clothing accessory stores fell by 0.7% seasonally adjusted from September but increased by 22.7% unadjusted YoY.

Sales in grocery and beverage stores also rose by 0.9% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and were up by 7.6% unadjusted from a year earlier.

Online and other non-stores delivered a 4% increase in sales month-over-month seasonally adjusted and a 7.4% growth unadjusted YoY.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: “Retail sales data for October reflect the enduring strength of consumers’ finances and willingness to spend as the holiday season gets underway.

“The robust balance sheets of American households are being met by retailer preparation and hard work to provide products that consumers want at competitive prices.

“Despite significant challenges including supply chain issues, labour shortages, rising inflation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s (OSHA) impending employer vaccine mandate, retailers are continuing to safely serve consumers online and in stores.

“Today’s numbers show that consumers are getting a jump on their holiday shopping. We continue to urge consumers to shop early and shop safely, and we fully expect this holiday season to be one for the record books.”

Last month, the NRF forecast record Christmas retail sales in November and December. This is expected to increase by between 8.5% and 10.5% against last year to between $843.4bn and $859bn.