While consumers continue to report low confidence in the future direction of the economy and the prospects for their own financial situation, it has not stopped them from shopping. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey, released today, indicated that people feel about the same today as they did during the recession. Despite this grim outlook, retail and food service sales continued to climb. September retail and food service sales, reported this morning, were 7.9% higher then they were during the same period last year. This was the the 13th month in a row that sales were at least 7% higher than they were during the same month a year prior.