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Retail sales increase as holidays approach


October retail industry sales increased 0.3 percent from September on a seasonally adjusted basis and 2.6 percent unadjusted compared with last year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The increase marks the fourth straight month of sales gains heading into Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

“This continued momentum is good news for the industry, especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a news release. “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.”

Clothing and clothing accessory store sales increased 0.7 percent from September and 1.4 percent compared with last year. Sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores increased 1 percent from September and 5.9 percent from last year.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies sales increased 7.3 percent from last year, and health and personal care store sales decreased 0.1 percent from September but increased 1.6 percent from last October.

“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,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in the release.

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