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US Retail Spending Increased in October

Sales rise traced to job growth, rising wages and higher savings




Consumers kept pulling out their wallets at U.S. retailers, restaurants and auto dealers in October, a sign of continued strength as the holiday shopping season begins amid high inflation and rising interest rates, the Associated Press reports.

Those conclusions are based on the latest data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed retail sales rose 1.3 percent in October from September, up from a flat reading in September from August. While the increase was led by car sales and higher gas prices, excluding those categories, retail spending still rose 0.9 percent last month.

In addition, even when inflation is factored in, spending increased. (Prices rose 0.4 percent in October from September.) The government’s report contrasted with downbeat figures Nov. 16 from high-profile retail chain Target, which announced unexpectedly weak third-quarter profits as its increasingly price-sensitive customers pulled back on spending.

But overall, steady job growth, rising wages and higher savings after many people cut back on travel and entertainment during the pandemic have enabled surprisingly steady spending by consumers, particularly those with higher incomes.

For the full AP story, click here.


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