Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores rebounded in October with a 4.4% increase over the same month a year ago and trailed the 4.7% gain for the broad retail sector, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.
With auto sales factored out of the total, retail and food service sales were up only 0.1 percent for the month in October. Sales for the sector increased 0.7% from the month before, after the government revised up the September number to $9.64 billion from the previous $9.57 billion estimate. Compared with October 2016, overall retail sales increased 4.6 percent. Unusually, Internet sales were down in October by 0.3 percent, but continued to grow on an annual basis, up 6.8 percent.
Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 8.8% (±2.1%) from October 2016, while Gasoline Stations were up 7.5% (±1.4%) from past year.
Only one retail subcategory last month posted a year-over-year sales decline - sporting goods, hobby, books and music stores, down 2.5%. That's a 4.6% (±0.7%) gain from October 2016.
Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose by 0.3 percent in October after climbing by 0.5 percent in September.