WASHINGTON — Retail sales creeped up 0.6% in September, leading them to post their third consecutive monthly gain, the Commerce Department reported ­Friday.

Retail sales excluding autos rose 0.4% from the previous month.

Meanwhile, retail sales excluding autos, gasoline, and building materials were up 0.4%.

Economists expected dual 0.4% gains in September for both retail sales and retail sales excluding autos, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Retail sales for August were revised upward to a gain of 0.7% from the 0.4% increase initially reported last month. August retail sales excluding autos were revised to a 1.0% expansion from the originally reported 0.6% rise.

“Consumers are still shopping despite high unemployment, sluggish income growth, and relatively tight credit, and their shopping appears to have become a bit less cautious,” Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said in a research note.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.