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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Growth and October Retail Sales and September Jewelry Sales

Retail sales in October increased 0.7 percent from September and 4.7 percent year-over-year led by discretionary purchases and growth in all categories, according to the National Retail Federation.

Meanwhile, October retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Retailers’ early holiday promotions seemed to strike the right chord with shoppers last month,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Knowing the economy is still a big factor in customers’ shopping decisions, retailers will continue to offer great deals and exceptional value throughout the holiday season.”

Earlier this month, NRF forecast holiday sales to rise 2.8 percent this year to $466 billion. NRF defines holiday sales as retail industry sales in the months of November and December.

U.S. jewelry store sales for the month of September rose 22 percent year-over-year to $2.12 billion, according to government figures quoted by Rapaport. The consumer price index for jewelry rose 8 percent in September. In its advanced retail summary report for the month of October, also reported by Rapaport, the government said U.S. department store sales fell 0.7 percent to $14.4 billion. Retail trade sales rose 7.3 percent year on year in October. Retail and food sales, excluding automotive related revenue, rose 6.8 percent to $344 billion during the month of October.

Meanwhile, NRF October data for specific retail categories includes the following:

• Electronics and appliance stores’ monthly sales grew the most in two years, increasing 3.7 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month and 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Unseasonal winter-like weather helped boost traffic at building material and garden equipment stores, whose sales grew 1.5 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a solid 6.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 1.3 percent over September and 7 percent unadjusted from the previous year.

• Health and personal care stores sales increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over September and 4.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

• Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores decreased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over the previous month, but increased 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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