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Friday, October 13, 2006

September Retail Sales

by Calculated Risk on 10/13/2006 10:12:00 AM

Retail sales were mixed in September. From MarketWatch: Retail sales fall 0.4% on plunging gas prices

The sharp drop in gasoline prices drove the nominal value of U.S. retail sales down by 0.4% in September, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The news was better for the National Retail Federation that excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants:
"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.
From MarketWatch:
Sales were particularly perky at the malls in September. Clothing store sales jumped 3%, the biggest gain in a year. Sales at general merchandise stores rose 1.1%, while department store sales rose 1%.

Sales of durable goods were tepid. Furniture store and electronics store sales rose 0.2%, and sales at hardware stores rose 0.6%.

Ultimately, lower prices at the pump should free up cash for other purposes, but the effect was limited in September.

Sales at restaurants and bars rose 1% in September after rising 1.2% in August, a sign that discretionary spending remains robust.
Retail sales were revised down for July and August, and it now appears real Q3 retail sales declined from Q2.