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Sept retail sales rise spurred by clothing & sporting goods

14
Oct '06
Shoppers around the country breathed a collective sigh of relief as gas prices fell last month, spurring growth in traditional retail sales categories.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail industry sales for September (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) rose a strong 6.3 percent unadjusted over last year and increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from August.

The gains, which led third quarter sales to rise 6.3 percent over 2005, were stronger than NRF had been expecting.

“As gas prices dipped last month, consumers had more disposable income to spend on other items, especially back-to-school necessities like clothing and sporting goods,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells.

“If September's sales are any indication, shoppers appear confident heading into the holiday season.”

Last month's sales gains were led by clothing and clothing accessories stores, which saw sales rise 3.0 percent adjusted from August and an impressive 11.9 percent over last year.

Sporting goods, book, hobby, and music stores also saw strong growth of 1.1 percent from August and 9.1 percent over last year.

NRF expects retail industry sales to increase 6.5 percent this year over 2005. Holiday sales, which are defined as retail industry sales in the full months of November and December, are expected to rise 5.0 percent to $457.4 billion.

National Retail Federation


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