WASHINGTON (11/25/13)--Major events in October appear to have had little impact on consumer habits, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.
A measure of retail sales increased by 0.4% in October after remaining stagnant in September. Both the government shutdown and the introduction of the iPhone 5 appear to have done little to sway consumer behavior.
Retail spending increased on an annual basis by 3.9% in October, but Moody's said that it remains relatively weak. The financial analysts also said that volatility has been a theme in retail sales data this year, with different industries leading sales increases almost every month--a sign, Moody's says, of consumers releasing pent-up demand that is being bogged down by slow wage growth (Economy.com Nov. 22).
The segments of the index that saw most gains in October were furniture, electronics and appliances, apparel and sporting goods stores and restaurants. Auto sales were also strong last month, but primarily in the used car market.
Revisions of previously released Commerce Department data were small. Growth in August is still at 0.2%, and growth in September was revised down to 0% from 0.1%