Markets

US Retail Sales Spike 1.6% In September Amid Higher Gas Prices

US Retail Sales Spike 1.6% In September Amid Higher Gas Prices

For the retail numbers, the precise effects of the three hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, which slammed into United States territory between August and September, could not be determined, according to the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

Retail sales without automobiles and gasoline, the so-called "control group", which feeds directly into the government's estimates of gross domestic product each quarter, grew by 0.4% on the month.

Versus the year-earlier period, retail sales volumes grew 4.4%. Meanwhile, gasoline stations had their best month since February 2013, adding 5.8 percent in sales, putting them up more than 11 percent over the same month past year. Without auto sales, the month-over-month increase in overall sales was 1 percent.

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Losing categories were electronics stores, down 1.1 percent for the month and 4.4 percent for the year, and department stores, down 0.4 percent for the month and 0.5 percent for the year.

The report also showed a notable rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which surged up by 3.6 percent in September after tumbling by 2.1 percent. Sales were also 4.4 percent above September 2016, and the monthly change from July 2017 to August 2017 was revised from down 0.2 percent to down 0.1 percent.

Economists had expected retail sales to spike by 1.7 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month. As a standalone category, auto sales were up 3.6 percent for the month and 4 percent for the year.


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