US Retail Sales Spike 1.6% In September Amid Higher Gas Prices

Retail sales alone increased 4.7% from a year ago and 1.7% from August 2017.

The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales jumped 1.6 percent last month also buoyed by a surge in receipts at services stations, which reflected higher gasoline prices after Harvey disrupted production at oil refineries in the Gulf Coast.

USA retail sales soared in September led by a surge in those for motor vehicles and parts.

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Harvey and Irma ravaged parts of Texas and Florida when the storms made landfall in late August and early September.

From July through September, furniture and home furnishings store sales were up 3.8% from the same three months previous year and increased 0.2% from April-through-June period, the report said.

Online retailers reported another healthy gain of 0.5 percent.

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Three retail subcategories repeated as the only sectors posting year-over-year sales declines: department stores, a subset of general merchandise stores; electronics and appliance stores; and sporting goods, hobby, books and music stores. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

USA economic growth likely slowed in the July-September quarter as the hurricanes shut down thousands of businesses, employees were forced to miss work, and power was cut to millions of homes. Analysts forecast that the economy expanded at a 2 percent annual pace in the third quarter, down from a 3 percent gain in the April-June quarter. Construction and engineering firms are expected to step up hiring as homes, commercial buildings and roads and bridges are fixed. Economists expect growth will pick up to a 2.5 percent to 3 percent pace.

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