U.S.. Retail Sales Barely Rise In October, Up Scant 0.1%

Sales at U.S. retailers rose just 0.1% in October, held down by lower spending at gas stations, auto dealers and grocery stores. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a seasonally adjusted 0.4% increase. Although the number of autos sold last month was quite strong, sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, perhaps suggesting heavier discounting. Sales at gas stations also fell again, but that's a good thing for consumers. Stripping out gas and autos, sales rose a somewhat better 0.3%, the Commerce Department said Friday. So-called control group sales that factor into GDP rose 0.2%. In September, sales were revised lower to show no gain.

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