Consumers increased their spending in September, with retail sales growing 1.1% over the month. The growth in September follows an upwardly revised August growth of 1.2%, making for the third consecutive monthly gain. September’s strength was led by electronics and appliance stores and non-store retailers largely due to iPhone 5 sales and sales at gasoline stations and auto dealers.
Core retail sales (excluding autos and gas) rose by 0.9%, up from the 0.3% the previous month. Growth from a year ago accelerated to 5.4% in September, up from the 5.0% reported in August.
Electronic and appliances saw the strongest gains in September, rising 4.5% over the month, followed by gasoline stations rising 2.5% over the month.
Auto dealers, grocery stores, and building supply stores all posted average to slightly above average growth. Departments stores were the only major category displaying weakness, with sales fall 0.2% in September.
Read the Census report.