SpendingPulse: Overall sales momentum continues, but category strength shifts

Purchase, N.Y. -- October’s unusual weather patterns — an unseasonably warm first half of the month and a snow storm on the last Saturday of the month — may have pushed some spending into November, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and service sales across all payment forms including cash and check.

While retail spending overall grew at a pace consistent with that of the last several months, the relative strengths of the various sectors changed and growth in some categories was offset by deceleration in others. While apparel was up in the mid single-digits in October over the same month in 2010, its growth rate slowed considerably since September.

The slow-down in growth was seen across all apparel’s sub-sectors, with men’s and family Apparel showing October growth rates at less than half of September’s levels.

“Sales began to pick up momentum in October 2010, whi