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).
Apple is likely to post huge growth in sales and profits thanks to the popularity of the iPhone 6. Here's all the numbers to keep an eye on in the report. More
A Girl Scouts Cookie Oven rolling out to Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart stores this summer will let you bake those iconic thin mints right at home. More