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U.S. retail sales rise more than expected in September

The Commerce Department reported on Friday the sales at U.S. retailers rose 1.9 percent m-o-m in September, following an unrevised 0.6 percent m-o-m increase in August. This was the biggest monthly rise since June.

Economists had expected total sales would advance 0.7 percent m-o-m in September.

According to the report, the largest gains in retail sales were recorded in clothing and accessories (+11 percent m-o-m) and autos (+4 percent m-o-m), while electronics and appliances was the only major sector that declined (-1.6 percent m-o-m).

Excluding auto, retail sales grew 1.5 percent m-o-m in September after a revised 0.5 percent m-o-m advance in the previous month (originally a 0.7percent m-o-m increase), much better than economists’ forecast of a 0.5 percent m-o-m rise.

Meanwhile, closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, and are used in GDP calculations, increased 1.4 percent m-o-m in September after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent m-o-m drop in August (originally a 0.1 percent m-o-m decrease). Economists had forecast core retail sales growing 0.2 percent m-o-m in September.

In y-o-y terms, the U.S. retail sales surged 5.4 percent in September after a revised 2.8 climb in the previous month (originally a 2.6 percent jump). This was the biggest increase since December 2019.

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