Monthly retail sales figures for September released today by the Department of Commerce reported an increase of 0.6 percent over August sales and 7.3 percent over September 2009. Retail sales excluding auto sales were up 0.4 percent over the previous month and 5.4 percent over August 2009.
Electronics and appliance retailers reported the largest gains in August with 1.5 percent increase over the previous month. Clothing stores saw a slight decline in September sales on the heels of strong gains in August thanks to back-to-school shoppers. Other retail segments including home improvement, grocery, and home furnishings saw increases of roughly 0.5 percent.
"After three years of economic strain, three consecutive months of growth is good news. But given the size of the challenges the economy continues to face, retailers remain focused on appealing to the budget conscious consumer, particularly as we enter the holiday shopping season," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy.
"Every aspect of the economy, particularly those industries reliant on consumer spending, remains challenged by the fact that nearly 15 million Americans are unemployed and millions more are underemployed. Without a meaningful improvement in the job market, retail sales gains will be sluggish and hard won," said Kennedy.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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