U.S. Retail Sales Rose 0.7% in September

Retail sales rose 0.7% on the month, according to the advance report the Commerce Department released Tuesday.

Excluding autos, sales were up 0.6%, also well ahead of the forecast for just 0.2%. The so-called control group, which strips out items such as auto dealers, gas stations, office supply stores, mobile homes and tobacco stores and is used for the department’s GDP calculation, rose 0.6% as well.

The numbers are not adjusted for inflation, so they indicate that consumers more than kept up with price increases. The consumer price index, released last week, showed headline inflation up 0.4% in September. On a year-over-basis, sales rose 3.8%, compared to the 3.7% increase for CPI.

Sales gains were broad-based on the month, with the biggest increase coming at miscellaneous store retailers, which saw an increase of 3%. Online sales rose 1.1% while motor vehicle parts and dealers saw a 1% increase and food services and drinking places grew by 0.9%, good for a yearly increase of 9.2%, which led all categories.

There were only a few categories that showed a decline; electronics and appliances stores as well as clothing retailers both saw decreases of 0.8% on the month.