The holiday shopping season has officially begun and U.S. households ramped up their spending in October. Retail sales increased by 0.9 percent over September and grew 2.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to numbers released today by the National Retail Federation. The calculations excluded automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.
“October’s strong sales and September’s upward revisions show that consumer spending improved despite the headwinds from the polarizing election and warmer than normal weather,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Recent solid wage gains and other fundamentals are generating uplift, positioning consumers and retailers for the healthy holiday season NRF is forecasting.”
The three-month moving average of retail sales was up 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Looking at the details of the October report, all sectors were strong except for furniture and home furnishing and department stores.
NRF forecasts 2016 holiday retail sales to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion.