Sales at U.S. retailers rose just 0.1% in September after no change in August, suggesting consumers pared spending toward the end of summer. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a seasonally adjusted 0.1% increase. Auto sales were strong once again, jumping 1.7%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. And sales at gas stations fell as expected, down 3.2%, because of lower prices at the pump. Yet total sales excluding autos and gas were flat. Sales fell at Internet retailers, general stores, home centers, groceries and outlets that sell appliances and electronics. Sales rose again at restaurants and clothing stores. So-called control group sales that factor into GDP rose 0.2%.
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