Advanced Estimate for Retail Sales Beats Expectations in October

Jiahao Luo Jiahao Wang

Jiahao Luo Jiahao Wang

USA retail sales increased last month after a bigger September advance than previously estimated, indicating resilient demand heading into the holiday shopping season, according to Commerce Department figures released Wednesday.

Total sales for the August 2017 through October 2017 period were 4.3% (±0.5%) higher than the same period a year ago, while the period from August 2017 to September 2017 was revised from up from 1.6% (±0.5%) to 1.9% (±0.2%). Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.2%.

Excluding an increase in auto sales, retail sales still inched up by 0.1% in October following a 1.2% surge in September. Unusually, Internet sales were down in October by 0.3 percent, but continued to grow on an annual basis, up 6.8 percent.

Sales by sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores jumped by 1.5 percent, while sales by food services and drink places, clothing and accessories stores, and health and personal care stores also saw notable growth.

Vehicle sales were firmer, though the gain was smaller than the previous month when the recovery from two hurricanes boosted purchases.

On the other hand, the report showed significant decreases in sales by gas stations and building materials and supplies dealers.

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