Retail sales in October increased 0.4 percent over September on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 5.6 percent year-over-year unadjusted, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF). The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Today’s pickup in retail sales shows a healthy pace of spending and a sign of ongoing consumer strength which is consistent with the state of the U.S. economy,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The figures bolster expectations for the major shopping period of the year, the holidays. Thanks to a high level of consumer confidence surrounding the current and future economy, we expect spending to maintain its strong momentum.”

“The pickup in October was also due in part to delayed spending associated with the hurricanes in early fall,” Kleinhenz said.

Sales were up 4.3 percent on a three-month moving average compared with the same period a year ago.

Read more.