US retail sales rose in October as Americans spent their dollars at
electronics stores and on the Internet, a sign that consumers are willing to
open their wallets ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.
Separately, US wholesale prices in October dropped at the fastest monthly pace
since February 2010, a move that gives the Federal Reserve leeway to boost the
economy and jobs with its monetary stimulus.
Retail and food services sales climbed 0.5% last month from September to an
adjusted $397.67bn. That came on top
of a strong 1.1% gain in September retail sales.
The US Census Bureau announced today
that advance estimates of US retail and food services sales for October,
adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not
for price changes, were $397.7bn, an increase of 0.5% from the previous month
and 7.2% above October 2010. Total sales for the August through October 2011
period were up 7.6% from the same period a year ago. The August to September
2011 percentage change was unrevised from +1.1%.
Retail trade sales were up 0.6% from
September 2011, and 7.3% above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 15.6%
from October 2010 and non-store retailers sales were up 11.1% from last year.
The advance estimates are based on a
subsample of the Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A
stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,000 retail
and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked
to represent the complete universe of over three million retail and food
The Producer Price Index for
finished goods declined 0.3% in October, seasonally adjusted, the US Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. Finished goods prices rose 0.8% in September
and were unchanged in August. At the earlier stages of processing, the index for
intermediate goods moved down 1.1% in October and crude goods prices fell 2.5%.
On an unadjusted basis, the finished goods index increased 5.9% for the 12
months ended October 2011, the smallest year over-year advance since a 5.6% rise
in March 2011.
The index for finished goods less
foods and energy, known as 'core' prices was unchanged in October following ten
straight monthly advances. In October, higher prices for pharmaceutical
preparations and civilian aircraft offset lower prices for light motor trucks
and passenger cars, which declined 1.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
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