US retail sales rose a solid 0.8 percent last month

November 15, 2018 - 8:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose at a healthy pace in October, though the gains were likely boosted by one-time factors such as hurricane recovery spending and higher gas prices.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent last month, following two months of slight declines. Excluding gasoline sales, which were inflated by higher prices, sales climbed a still-solid 0.5 percent.

The figures suggest that consumers are spending at a modest pace, fueled by steady job gains and mild wage increases. Americans lifted their spending over the summer and fall at the fastest six-month pace in four years. Yet business spending on machinery, computers and buildings barely increased in the July-September quarter, leaving consumers shouldering more of the burden of maintaining growth.

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