As a bit of good news heading into the holiday season, the Commerce Department reports retail sales rose in October. Total retail sales increased 0.5 percent, the Commerce Department, above economists' expectations of a 0.3 percent rise. Sales grew 1.1 percent in September, reports Reuters.
In the 12 months to October, retail sales were up 7.2 percent, says the Commerce Department.
Consumer spending – which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity – also grew, marking its fastest pace in nearly a year in the third quarter.
Among individual sectors, retail sales last month grew 0.4 percent for motor vehicles. Sales at food and beverage stores were up 1.1 percent, while receipts at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores increased 1.3 percent. Sales of electronics and appliances grew 3.7 percent, and receipts from building material retailers increased 1.5 percent.
On the decline, clothing store sales dropped 0.7 percent last month, the largest decline since December 2010, and furniture sales were down 0.7 percent.