The Commerce Department announced that U.S. retail sales in October climbed 0.5 percent, in what forecasters generally considered a positive sign for Christmas. Sales also rose 7.9 percent from one year ago.
The gain was smaller than September’s 1.1 percent rise, but came in above analyst estimates.
Clothing and clothing accessories sales in September were down 0.7 percent for the month, but up 5.8 percent over the year before.
National Retail Federation figures were slightly higher, showing a 0.7 percent gain from September and a 4.7 percent jump over last October.
“October retail sales support the assertion that consumers have a distinct desire to spend, bolstering hopes for solid sales growth in November and December,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF, in a statement. “This momentum bodes well for the upcoming holiday season.”