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U.S. Retail Sales Rebound Slightly More Than Expected In October

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After reporting an unexpected drop in retail sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing U.S. retail sales rebounded by slightly more than expected in the month of October.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in October, reversing the 0.3 percent drop in September. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.2 percent.

The increase in retail sales was partly due to a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which climbed by 0.5 percent in October after plunging by 1.3 percent in September.

Excluding the rebound in auto sales, the report said retail sales crept up by 0.2 percent in October after edging down by 0.1 percent in September. Ex-auto sales had been expected to increase by 0.4 percent.

The uptick in ex-auto sales reflected notable increases in sales by gas stations and non-store retailers, which were partly offset by drops in sales by furniture and home furnishings stores and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores.

The report said closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose by 0.3 percent in October after edging down by 0.1 percent in September.

Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the increase in core sales was "broadly in line with our expectations and pushed the 3m/3m annualized growth rate down to an eight-month low of 4.0%, from 6.3%."

"But that's still a reasonably healthy rate and isn't a huge surprise given the slowdown in employment growth over the past year," he added.

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