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Core retail sales inch down 0.3% in October

Sales in food and beverage stores rose 0.23% in October.

Consumer spending took a break in October before the official start of the holiday shopping season. 

Core retail sales (excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants) in October edged down .03% from September and were up 2.63% year over year,  according to the National Retail Federation and CNBC’s monthly “CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor,” a new joint initiative of CNBC and NRF based on data from Affinity Solutions. 

 Total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gas but including restaurants, fell .08% from September, according to the report, which leverages data from more than 140 million credit and debit cards, with nearly nine billion transactions totaling more than $500 billion in annual spending, to measure the monthly and annual change in U.S. retail sales

“The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor will modernize how retail sales are tracked and measured,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “And Affinity Solutions’ vast dataset of how, what and where the consumer is spending will identify how key demographics and channels are performing for the industry generally and for specific retail sectors.”

October sales were up or unchanged in four out of nine categories on a monthly basis: online/non-store; sporting goods/hobby/music/bookstores; health/personal care; and food/beverage. Electronics/appliance stores registed the biggest monthly declines, with sales falling 1.38%.

 Sales were up in five out of nine retail categories on a yearly basis, led by non-store, sporting goods/hobby/music/bookstores, and health and personal care, and up or unchanged in four out of nine categories on a monthly basis. 

Specifics from key sectors include:

•Online and other non-store sales were up 1.18% month over month and up 29.1% year over year.

•Sporting goods, hobby, music and bookstores were up 1.45% month over month and up 8.88% unadjusted.

•Health and personal care stores were up 0.77% month over month and up 5.98% year over year.

•Food and beverage stores were up 0.23% and up 2.59% unadjusted.

•General merchandise stores were down 0.57% month over month and down 1.57% year over year.

•Clothing and accessories stores were down 0.78% and up 2.72% year over year.

•Building and garden supply stores were down 0.5% month over month and up 0.89% year over year.

•Furniture and home furnishings stores were down 1.29% month over month and down 5.24% year over year.

•Electronics and appliance stores were down 1.38% month over month and down 4.66% year over year.

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