Retail sales rebounded in October

Retail sales increased in October, a good sign for consumer spending heading into the busy holiday season. 

Sales rose 0.3 percent last month, bouncing back after a 0.3 percent drop in September, the Commerce Department said Friday.


Falling gas prices and nationwide jobs growth is expected to bolster consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, through the end of the year and into 2015.

Excluding gas stations, sales were up 0.5 percent.

“Retail sales snapped back in October with a solid performance, indicating a healthy holiday shopping ahead," said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“A boost from plunging gas prices and accelerating job growth, combined with wage and salary gains and rising stock prices are making consumers a bit more willing to spend," he said. 

The NRF is forecasting a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales this year. It would be the first time since 2011 that sales could eclipse 4 percent. 

Still, there is some concern among economists that stagnant wage growth could dampen a good holiday season, even amid falling gas prices, which is freeing up a bit more spending cash.