WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales finished September at an adjusted total of $425.9 billion, down 0.1 percent from August but up 3.2 percent over September of last year.
Most of the month-to-month decline occurred in the auto sector, whose sales fell 2.2 percent from August while rising 5.1 percent from September 2012. Sales at all of the non-auto channels were up 0.4 percent from August and 2.8 percent year over year.
Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 0.2 percent from August and 4.3 percent over last September, while sales at general merchandise stores rose 0.4 percent month over month and 0.6 percent year over year. Sales at department stores (excluding leased departments) were down 0.9 percent from August and 6 percent from September 2012.
In the National Retail Federation’s monthly statement on the results, Jack Kleinhenz, NRF’s chief economist, said, “Falling gas prices, combined with rising housing and stock prices, continue to support consumer spending and the broader economy. While far from robust, consumers are shopping, but they are spending both discriminately and moderately.”