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November 18, 2019updated 24 Dec 2021 5:49am

US retail sales rise 4.2% in October over last year, finds NRF

Retail sales in the US rose 4.2% in October unadjusted year-over-year, as per data from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Retail sales in the US rose 4.2% in October unadjusted year-over-year, as per data from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The sales figures, excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 0.2% seasonally adjusted over September.

Retail categories that witnessed a rise in sales include online and other non-store (14.6% year-over-year and 0.9% month-over-month), grocery and beverage (4% year-over-year and 0.5% month-over-month).

General merchandise saw 1.9% year-over-year and 0.4% month-over-month rise while health and personal care was up 1.7% year-over-year. Furniture and home furnishings were up 1.6% year-over-year but down 0.9% month-over-month, and sporting goods up 0.4% year-over-year but down 0.8% month-over-month.

Meanwhile, building materials and garden supply was down 0.2% year-over-year and 0.5% month-over-month, clothing and clothing accessory dropped 1.7% year-over-year and 1% month-over-month, and electronics and appliance stores witnessed a decline of 3% year-over-year and 0.4% month-over-month.

NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said: “Despite the gradual slowdown in the US economy, consumers are in a good place and October’s retail sales are a step forward into the all-important holiday season.

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“Uncertainty around trade policy has impacted consumer sentiment recently but ongoing job growth, low interest rates, low inflation and the stock market hitting record highs provide support for consumer spending.”

According to US Census Bureau data, overall October sales increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted from September and 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year. The numbers include auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants.