US retail sales growth slowed in October, with the big stores showing mixed results for the month.

According to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (which tracks 72 retail chains), sales in stores open at least twelve months increased 3.2% year-on-year last month, a slowdown from September's 5.9%. Economists believe unseasonably warm weather was to blame.

"October certainly is a setback," declared BTM economist Michael Niemira. "But it does not derail the retail industry recovery."

Among individual retailers, Wal-Mart had a typically strong month, its same-store sales surging a better-than-expected 4.5%. Discount rival Target struggled to keep up, posting a 1.6% sales rise.

The department store sector was especially hard hit. Low-price operator Kohl's saw sales tumble 11.6%, JC Penney was down 2.3%, Federated - owner of Bloomingdale's and Macy's - fell 2%, and Sears Roebuck slid 2.7%.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff