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Financial News: U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise 0.2% In October

U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise 0.2% In October

11/15/2017 - 09:20:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.2 percent in October after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.9 percent in September.

Economists had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 1.6 percent jump originally reported the previous month.

The unexpected increase in retail sales was partly due to continued growth in auto sales, which climbed by 0.7 percent in October after soaring by 4.6 percent in September.

Excluding the increase in auto sales, retail sales still inched up by 0.1 percent in October following a 1.2 percent surge in September. Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Sales by sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores jumped by 1.5 percent, while sales by food services and drink places, clothing and accessories stores, and health and personal care stores also saw notable growth.

On the other hand, the report showed significant decreases in sales by gas stations and building materials and supplies dealers.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose by 0.3 percent in October after climbing by 0.5 percent in September.

Andrew Hunter, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the continued growth in core sales suggests that the underlying pace of consumer spending remains healthy.

Compared to the same month a year ago, retail sales were up by 4.6 percent in October compared to the 4.8 percent year-over-year increase in September.

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