Consumers boost retail sales 0.8%
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.
Retail manager Sara Judge, left, helps customer Jessica Wiechman on Tuesday in Loveland, Colo.