Electronics and appliance stores' sales were up in September, as were sales in most other retail sectors with the exception of automobiles, according to the National Retail Federation's read of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Factoring out car, gas station, and restaurant sales showed sales gains in most retail sectors. Retail sales increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted from August 2013, and 3.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
Other retail sales results from September:
* Electronics and appliance stores' sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 1.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
* Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores' were up 0.1% seasonally adjusted and 8.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
* Nonstore retailers' sales increased 0.4% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 12.0% unadjusted year-over-year.
"Retailers witnessed a solid sales performance in September, with marked gains in all sectors, excluding clothing," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "The American consumer remains ever-cautious and value-driven but continues to spend. Only time will tell if and when the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle will impact retailers and consumers this fall and winter. The true economic impact of Washington's inability to enact policies that enhance and sustain economic growth and certainty remains to be seen."
September total retail sales (which includes non-general merchandise categories like automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) were down 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month but increased 3.2% adjusted year-over-year.
"Falling gas prices combined with rising housing and stock prices continue to support consumer spending, and the broader economy," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "While far from robust, consumers are shopping, but they are spending both discriminately and moderately. Volatility still persists in various retail sectors but spending has somewhat stabilized heading into the all-important holiday shopping season."
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