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News : US Economy Last Updated: Nov 15, 2011 - 2:46 PM

US retail sales rose in October
By Finfacts Team
Nov 15, 2011 - 2:43 PM

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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 services firms.

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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