National retail sales increased 10.6% year-over-year in October and were up for the sixth consecutive month since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, the National Retail Federation reported this week.
“Consumers have proven their resilience and willingness to spend as we head into the heart of the holiday season and retailers continue to demonstrate their commitment and ability to ensure safe shopping environments,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
NRF calculates its results with a focus on core retail that excludes auto dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.
Despite the encouraging news for retail overall, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said a recent rise in COVID infections must be watched.
“The rise in COVID-19 cases continues to be a factor that weighs on consumer perceptions, sentiment and spending and there could be retrenchment if we cannot thwart this latest wave,” he said. “Nonetheless, retailers are well prepared to safely fulfill holiday shopping lists, and the October results suggest so far, so good.”