Consumer Spending Surged in September

Oct 15, 2012 9:59 PM  By

Propelled by solid sales in clothing and electronics stores, growth in retail sales in September offered a promising outlook for the critical holiday months ahead.

According to the National Retail Federation, September retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted from August, and 2.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

“In spite of the uncertainty and unease surrounding our nation’s high unemployment and long-term fiscal challenges, consumers continue to spend and shop,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “Robust back-to-school spending combined with a series of new, technology-led product launches certainly helped retailers in September.”

September retail sales, released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food services sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 1.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 5.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

Other findings from the September retail sales report include:

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increase 0.6% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.6% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 4.5% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.1% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.3% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but decreased 1.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 2.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 1.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.7% unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year.