Economy

US Retail Sales Growth Falls Short of Projections

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 1.7% from September a year ago, well below the broad retail sector's 4.7% gain, according to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce report.

Total U.S. retail and food services sales increased 4.4% in September from the same month previous year to $483.9 billion, and were up 1.6% from August.

Excluding the volatile auto and fuel sector, sales rose a more modest 0.5 percent for the month, up from August s 0.1 percent gain.

The Commerce Department said retail sales surged up by 1.6 percent in September after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in August. Economists had forecast retail sales jumping 1.7% in September.

The result was also 4.4 percent above September of a year ago. That was the largest rise since March 2015 and followed a 2.1 percent decline in August. Meanwhile, gasoline stations had their best month since February of 2013, adding 5.8 percent in sales, putting them up more than 11 percent over the same month past year. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

The economy grew at a 3.1 percent annualized rate in the April-June period. Department store retailers are being squeezed by declining shopping mall traffic and increased competition from Amazon.com and other online retailers.

Bars and restaurants had a good month, adding 0.8 percent.



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