WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace in October, though the gains were boosted by one-time factors such as hurricane recovery spending and higher gas prices.
Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent last month, following two months of slight declines, the Commerce Department reported today. Excluding gasoline sales, which were inflated by higher prices, sales climbed a 0.5 percent.
The figures suggest that consumers are pulling back a bit on their spending, which could slow growth in the final three months of the year. Americans had lifted their spending over the summer and fall at the fastest six-month pace in four years. Yet business spending on machinery, computers and buildings barely increased in the July-September quarter, leaving consumers shouldering more of the burden of maintaining growth.