NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retailers reported strong sales results for October on Thursday despite the still-struggling economy.
Thomson Reuters, which tracks same-store sales for a group of 28 national chains, said total sales for the group rose 1.6% in October -- in line with its initial forecast for the month. Sales were up 2.8% in September.
An important gauge of a retailer's health, same-store sales measure sales at stores that have been open for at least a year. They have been on the rise for 13 months in a row, according to Thomson Reuters.
Jharonne Martis, a Thomson Reuters analyst, said October tends to be a slow month for consumer spending because it's the time when shoppers can take a break between the back-to-school and holiday seasons.
Although same-store sales last month were slightly below the year-earlier period, which notched a 1.8% gain, Martis said Thomson Reuters is anticipating an improved holiday season. Sales are expected to improve 1.8% in the fourth quarter.
Warehouse club Costco said same-store sales rose greater than expectations in October, up 5% excluding gasoline sales and foreign currency considerations. BJ's Wholesale (BJ, Fortune 500) was also up 2.2% excluding gasoline sales, narrowly beating estimates of a 2.1% rise.
Teen apparel retailer Wet Seal (WTSLA) reported a small decline of 0.7%, beating the forecast for a 3.7% drop. Sales at Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) edged up 2% but were below expectations for a 5.6% rise.
"Unseasonably warm weather again in October was a drag on fall apparel demand," noted Michael Niemira, chief economist with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
A court-appointed administrator announced the distribution Friday of $76 million to roughly 27,500 U.S. customers of now-defunct Full Tilt Poker. More
The world is finally paying close attention to Bitcoin, but people are more focused on its creator than the power behind the revolutionary digital currency. More
Maker's Row matches American manufacturers with U.S. companies who want a "Made in the USA" label. More
As free checking disappears from the nation's biggest banks, the accounts remain alive and well at credit unions. More