Retail sales in the U.S. jumped 1.1 percent in September. Sales rose in most categories, but the biggest growth was in electronics and appliances.
A large portion of that was driven by sales of the new iPhone 5. But some economists say don't be too quick to celebrate just yet. Meanwhile retailers like Best Buy are hoping to take those numbers and run, trying to get you offline and into their stores.
Sales at gas stations are up, a reflection of higher gas prices. Car sales are up. Even sales at food and beverage stores. Electronics stores saw the biggest jump of all - up 4.5 percent in September.
Veronique DeRugy, an economist and a Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, says this may reveal nothing about the economy other than simply the timing: the buy-up for back to school and the release of the iPhone 5.
"You may have these bumps and bursts driven by a variety of things, but they aren't going to be sustained," says DeRugy.
DeRugy says positive sales are often confused for being a reflection of consumer confidence.
"Retail sales are not driving the economy, the economy drives retail sales," she says. "If you don't have sustained growth, retail sales won't be sustained."
Retailers like Best Buy are now trying to sustain that recent growth by going after the online shopper who uses their brick and mortar store as a showroom only.
They are now matching the prices of Internet competitors like Amazon and offering free home delivery on items that are out of stock in stores. The goal is to get the shopper to leave Best Buy merchandise in hand.
In the end, DeRugy says, the consumer is the winner.
"This is the beauty of the market," says DeRugy. "It works in favor of the consumer. It's a very good sign to see Best Buy is trying to adjust and adapt to competition."
At Best Buy, we found no signs up promoting the online deal matching. You have to ask and should even call ahead.
As for the big picture take away here, DeRugy says holiday sales will be good, they always are.
But the outlook for 2012 and 2013 are not great. There is no reason they should be and the uncertainty is still here to stay for the unforeseeable future.