WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose faster than expected in October, suggesting consumer spending could help support the economy in the fourth quarter, official statistics showed on Wednesday.
The Commerce Department reported a 1.3% rise in such sales from September while economists polled by Reuters on average forecast a 1.0% increase.
The stagnation in retail sales observed in September has not been revised.
Sales were boosted by vehicle purchases and rising gasoline prices. Tax refunds in California, where some households received up to $1,050, also helped support sales. Amazon also organized a second day of promotions in October.
Excluding autos, fuels, building materials and food services, retail sales rose 0.7% in October after a revised gain of 0.6% in September against +0.4% indicated in the first estimate and a consensus at +0.3%.
This category is the closest to that used for the calculation of the consumption component in the gross domestic product (GDP) statistics.
US GDP rose 2.6% at an annualized rate in the July-September period thanks to the reduction in the trade deficit and a sustained pace in consumer spending after a contraction of 0.6% in the second quarter.
(Report Lucia Mutikani; Claude Chendjou, edited by Kate Entringer)
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