Retail sales increase in September

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Propelled by solid sales in clothing and electronics, retails sales in September provided a promising preview to the holiday shopping season, according to the National Retail Federation.

September retail sales increased .4 percent from August and 2.1 percent from last year’s September sales.

“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 NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Robust back-to-school spending, combined with a series of new, technology-led product launches, certainly helped retailers in September. The American consumer is holding their own in this economic environment, but the question remains: for how long?”

Total retail and food services sales, including automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 1.1 percent month-to-month and 5.4 percent unadjusted from last year.

Other findings from the report:

– Clothing and clothing accessories increased .6 percent from August and 3.6 percent from 2011.

– Electronics and appliance store sales increased 4.5 percent from August and 2.5 percent from last September.

– Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased. 4 percent from August and 5.1 percent from last September.