U.S. chain store sales continued to rise in October, but a number of early sales results missed analysts' forecasts, suggesting that shoppers remain more anxious about the state of the economy than Wall Street thinks.
Costco Wholesale Corp
Overall, 23 major U.S.-based retailers that report monthly results were expected to post a composite same-store sales gain of 4.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Retailers are coming off a strong back-to-school season, suggesting that U.S. shoppers are growing more comfortable spending.
But they are still careful heading into the biggest spending season of the year, industry experts said.
Now going into the holiday season, consumers are going to start to be more selective, said Kurt Salmon retail strategist Megan Donadio. They want to make sure they are getting value.
Consumer confidence was still low in October compared with historic levels, but did brighten a bit. And U.S. private employers added more jobs than expected last month, according to the ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday.
What we're seeing right now is a surprisingly resilient consumer, said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.
But October is the third-smallest month for sales, with shoppers taking a breather between back-to-school and the holidays.
Some retailers had a better-than-expected October. Teen retailer Zumiez
But showing how the fortunes of teen retailers can diverge, Wet Seal's
American Eagle Outfitters
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)