WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales totaled $412.9 billion in September, up 5.4 percent over September 2011, and offering what the National Retail Federation called “a promising outlook for the critical holiday months ahead.”
The September total was also 1.1 percent ahead of August retail sales. Last month also included a strong performance by furniture and home furnishings stores, whose sales jumped 8.1 percent ahead of September of last year, along with being 0.4 percent greater than August.
Sales by general merchandise stores, fell 1.1 percent year over year and rose 0.3 percent from August. Department stores (excluding leased departments) posted sales declines of 1.3 percent year over year and 0.2 percent month over month.
“In spite of the uncertainty and unease surrounding our nation’s high unemployment and long-term fiscal challenges, consumers continue to spend and shop,” said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO. “The American consumer is holding their own in this economic environment, but the question remains, for how long?”