Consumers spent a little more money in October on retail goods according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Friday (Nov. 14). Seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 0.3% sequentially, above the +0.2% consensus. Without auto and fuel sales the retail spending was 0.6% better than prior month.
Trailing three-month unadjusted retail sales increased 4.5% in October versus a 4.6% increase in September, according to the government report.
Energy prices have plummeted over the last two months. If gasoline and, potentially more important heading into winter, heating oil prices remain depressed this could be a tailwind for retailers going into the holiday season, according to analysts with Raymond James & Assoc.
The year-over-year growth in retail sales for the building material and garden equipment increased 5.4% in October, slightly above last year's 5 % increase and above the two- and 10-year averages of 5.2%, and 1.7%, respectively.
Furniture and home furnishing store sales increased 2% year-over-year versus its two-, three-, and 10-year average growth rate for the month of October of -0.1%, 6.1%, and 5.5%, respectively.
Grocery store sales increased 3.7% year-over-year in the month of October, ahead of the two-, three- and ten-year averages of 3.3%, 3.2%, and 3.1%, respectively.
General merchandise store sales growth increased 3.2% in October. This was better 2.4% 2-year average.
Warehouse Clubs and supercenters sales growth increased 3.4% in September (reported on a one-month lag), ahead of the two and three-year average of 2.5% and 3.2%, but below the 10-year average of 6.2%.