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American retail sales jump by most since March, topping forecasts

U.S. retail sales rose in October for a third straight month, signaling households are continuign to spend even with the fastest inflation in decades.

The value of overall retail purchases increased 1.7% last month, the most in seven months, following an upwardly revised 0.8% advance in September, Commerce Department figures showed Nov. 16. Excluding gas and motor vehicles, sales gained 1.4% in October. The figures aren’t adjusted for price changes.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1.4% advance in overall retail sales. Stock futures wavered while the 10-year Treasury yield fluctuated and the dollar was little changed. U.S. prices are rising at the fastest pace in 30 years as businesses pass on growing labor and input costs to customers.

Results from Walmart Inc. and Home Depot Inc. Nov. 16 showed households are broadly maintaining robust demand for merchandise even as higher inflation squeezes purchasing power. Comparable sales at Walmart in the latest quarter exceeded forecasts while home-improvement retailer Home Depot reported stronger-than-expected results.

According to the Commerce Department’s report, 11 of 13 categories registered sales increases. Electronics and appliance stores saw a big surge in sales, as did building materials stores and non-store retailers, which include e-commerce.

Motor vehicle and parts dealer sales rose 1.8%. Receipts at gasoline stations jumped 3.9%, the most since March, reflecting how Americans are paying some of the highest prices at the pump in seven years.

The report suggests fourth-quarter consumer spending growth is off to a good start. Personal consumption slowed sharply in the third quarter as shortages, transportation bottlenecks, rising prices and the delta variant weighed on spending. Economists expect consumption to accelerate in the final three months of the year amid an improving labor market and health situation.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG QUINT

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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