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Sept. CE/Majap Retail Sales Flat: Feds

10/14/2011 10:34:11 AM Eastern

Washington - September sales were flat for CE and appliance
dealers following a 1 percent increase in August, U.S. Commerce Department
figures show.

The CE and appliance channel pulled in $8.4 billion last
month, according to Commerce Department estimates, which was flat compared with
last year and up just 0.2 percent from the prior month.

In contrast, total retail revenue excluding food and
automotive was up 8.1 percent year over year in September, boosted by
back-to-school apparel sales.

The
estimates are based on early reports obtained from a small sample of retailers,
the Commerce Department said, and were adjusted for seasonal variations and
holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Flat majap and CE sales notwithstanding, the National Retail
Federation (NRF), a trade association, said the solid increase in total September
sales was "just what the economy needs right now."

"Despite stagnant unemployment figures and a shaky stock
market, American consumers are holding their own," said NRF chief economist
Jack Kleinhenz. "While September's sales figures were strong, retailers' fourth-quarter growth will continue to depend heavily on the labor market and consumer
confidence, both of which continue to experience weakness."