Modest September sales gains reflect conservative consumer


According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for September (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 2.2% unadjusted over last year and 0.2% seasonally adjusted from August.
September retail sales released by the Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from last month and 2.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

While some categories fared well, unusually warm weather didn’t help clothing and clothing accessories retailers whose sales increased a meager 0.3% unadjusted year-over-year and decreased 0.4% seasonally adjusted from August.

Consumer demand for popular electronics such as cell phones and MP3 players helped boost electronics and appliance stores sales 0.9% seasonally adjusted from August and 3.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
Health and personal care stores also showed strength with seasonally adjusted sales from last month increasing 1.0% and 4.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

Housing market concerns affected both building material and garden equipment and furniture and home furnishings retailers. Sales in home furnishings stores dropped 0.6% seasonally adjusted from August and 3.6% unadjusted over last year. Building materials stores sales increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and decreased 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year.