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Economy Watch: Retail Sales Enjoys Strong September

13 October 2017

With gasoline prices showing a substantial increase, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a significant jump in retail sales in the the month of September.

With the monthly increase, the Commerce Department said total retail sales in September were up by 4.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Estimated furniture and home furnishings store sales totaled $9.57 billion in September, up from a revised $9.41 billion in September 2017, the government reported today. As a standalone category, vehicle sales were up 3.6 percent for the month and 4 percent for the year.

Core retail sales - excluding automobiles and parts - grew 1.0%.

Retail trade sales increased 1.6% from August and 4.7% from previous year. Month over month, nonstore retail sales rose by 0.5%. Department stores posted a month-over-month sales decrease of 0.4% and a year-over-year decline of 0.5%. The largest year-over-year gains came from gas stations (up 11.4%) and building material and garden equipment and supplies stores (up 10.7%). Food services and bars saw a sales increase of 0.8% month over month and 2.7% year over year.

Sales at gasoline stations surged 5.8% during September after growing 4.1% in August.

Sales at miscellaneous store retailers fell 0.6% month over month but gained 0.1% year over year.