The Census Bureau said that retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in September, improving only slightly from being unchanged in August. The August figure was revised lower, down from an original growth estimate of 0.2 percent. This would indicate that Americans have some hesitance in opening their pocketbooks.
The September retail sales numbers were mixed. Motor vehicles and parts sales rebounded from a weaker August, up 1.7 percent versus 0.4 percent in the previous report. Other areas with stronger sales included clothing and accessories (up 0.9 percent), sporting goods and hobby stores (up 0.9 percent), food services and drinking places (up 0.7 percent) and furniture and home furnishings (up 0.6 percent). In contrast, there were reduced sales noted for miscellaneous store retailers (down 1.3 percent), building supplies and materials (down 0.3 percent), food and groceries (down 0.3 percent), electronics and appliances (down 0.2 percent) and nonstore retailers (down 0.2 percent). (continue reading…)