Con­sumers boost re­tail sales 0.8%

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

Amer­i­can con­sumers ramped up their spend­ing last month in a sign of ro­bust health head­ing into the cru­cial hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son.

Re­tail sales rose 0.8 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, af­ter an up­ward­lyre­vised 1 per­cent gain in Septem­ber, the Com­merce De­part­ment said Tues­day. The two-month in­crease was the largest since the spring of 2014.

The numbers sug­gest that the econ­omy may grow more quickly in the fi­nal three months of the year than ex­pected. Con­sumer spend­ing makes up about 70 per­cent of the econ­omy.

Steady hir­ing and emerg­ing signs of solid pay increases have made Amer­i­cans more con­fi­dent and will­ing to spend. Un­em­ploy­ment fell last month to 4.9 per­cent.

MICHAEL BRIAN/LOVELAND RE­PORTER-HER­ALD

Re­tail man­ager Sara Judge, left, helps cus­tomer Jes­sica Wiech­man on Tues­day in Loveland, Colo.

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