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).
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