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U.S. retail sales rebound

Staff Writer |
U.S. retail sales rebounded sharply in October as purchases of motor vehicles and building materials surged, but data for the prior two months was revised lower and the underlying trend suggested that consumer spending was probably slowing down.

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Still, the report on Thursday from the Commerce Department showed broad gains in sales ahead of the holiday shopping season, which bodes well for consumer spending and the overall economy as the fourth quarter gets under way.

Retail sales increased 0.8 percent last month. Retail sales in September slipped 0.1 percent instead of rising 0.1 percent and sales in August were also weaker than previously thought.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales increased 0.3 percent last month. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

Data for September was revised lower to show core retail sales rising 0.3 percent instead of gaining 0.5 percent as previously reported. Core retail sales fell 0.2 percent in August rather than being unchanged.

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