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NRF: October retail sales boosted by discretionary spending

Discretionary purchases pushed October's retail sales growth across the board, giving retailers hope for the holiday selling season, said the National Retail Federation.

Based on NRF's most recent data, retail sales results last month were "impressive," up 0.7% from September and 4.7% over last October. Last month also market the 16th consecutive month of retail industry sales increases.

Similarly, October retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department showed that total retail sales -- which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants - rose 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 6.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

"Retailers' early holiday promotions seemed to strike the right chord with shoppers last month," said Matthew Shaw, NRF president and ceo. "Knowing the economy is still a big factor in customers' shopping decisions, retailers will continue to offer great deals and exceptional value throughout the holiday season."

Added Jack Kleinhenz, NRF chief economist: "October retail sales support the assertion that consumers have a distinct desire to spend, bolstering hopes for solid sales growth in November and December. This momentum bodes well for this holiday season."

Earlier this month, NRF forecast holiday sales to rise 2.8% this year to $466 billion - a figure that combines retail sales in the months of November and December.

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