Shopper resurgence gains strength

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retail sales rose in September, the government reported Friday, fueling hopes that momentum will translate into a robust holiday shopping season for retailers.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.6% from the previous month to $367.7 billion, compared with August's upwardly revised 0.7% jump. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had anticipated that September sales would grow 0.4%.

Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, and related reports such as retail sales are closely watched to gauge the strength of the economy.

Sales excluding autos and auto parts rose by 0.4% from August. Analysts expected sales ex-autos to jump 0.4%.

Strength in auto, electronics and online sales paced the September incline.

Auto and other motor vehicle dealers sales were up 1.6% over August and 19% over a year earlier. Electronics stores reported a 1.5% increase over August, while online stores ticked up by 1%.

"Overall this is a significantly stronger report than expected," Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics wrote in a research note.

Strong retail sales are another indication that shoppers might be ending their hibernation at just the right time for retailers, who rely heavily on holiday shopping to boost profit.

"It is increasingly clear that we are seeing 'frugal fatigue' give way to 'calculated consumption,' " Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group said in a statement.

In a separate report released last week, individual retailers reported strong sales results for September.

Thomson Reuters, which tracks same-store sales for a group of 28 national chains, said total sales for the group rose 2.8% in September.

An important gauge of a retailer's health, same-store sales have been on the rise for 13 months in a row, according to Thomson Reuters. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,397.12 -27.73 -0.17%
Nasdaq 4,081.33 -4.90 -0.12%
S&P 500 1,860.62 -1.69 -0.09%
Treasuries 2.65 0.01 0.42%
Data as of 9:45am ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 26.52 0.40 1.54%
Bank of America Corp... 16.19 0.06 0.35%
Microsoft Corp 40.00 -0.40 -0.99%
Intel Corp 26.86 -0.07 -0.26%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.08 0.05 0.22%
Data as of 9:30am ET
Sponsors

Sections

The company continues to struggle with convincing marketers to pay as much for mobile ads as they do for desktop ads. More

Indian markets are riding high as investors bet that an election and new administration will cure some of the country's economic ills. More

The company continues to struggle with convincing marketers to pay as much for mobile ads as they do for desktop ads. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

Pamela Knighton, a 51-year-old social worker from Cuthbert, Ga. who earns less than $25,000 a year, had been really looking forward to her $4,300 tax refund last year. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.