Washington - October sales at CE and appliance stores rose 3.6 percent year over year, but slipped nearly 1 percent from September, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
According to the agency's monthly retail sales tally, last month's take for the CE and appliance channel declined 0.7 percent from September. Sales figures were seasonally adjusted for calendar variations and holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
By comparison, total retail sales, excluding auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over September and 2.6 percent unadjusted over last year, representing the fourth consecutive month of sales gains.
"This continued momentum is good news for the industry, especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching," said Matthew Shay, president/CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group. "While there is no question that consumer demand has improved, there are still questions about consumer confidence tied to high unemployment. We need to see improvement in key economic indicators to sustain any long-term growth."
Added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, "While spending throughout the [retail] industry was varied, it appears the fourth quarter has gotten off to a solid start. October's results are a clear indicator that the economy and consumer spending continue to show marked improvement, even though we expect consumers to proceed with caution."