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Despite rising costs, Americans spent more on retail sales in October

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Despite rising costs, Americans spent more on retail sales in October
The Commerce Department said in its monthly sales report that retail sales increased 1.7%, from September to October. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Americans spent more at businesses and online during the month of October than most experts predicted -- giving the economy a solid boost, and indicating that higher inflation isn't deterring some shoppers.

In its monthly sales report, the Commerce Department said that retail sales increased by $638.2 billion, or 1.7%, from September to October.

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Most economists anticipated the report would show a monthly growth of 1.5%. The figure is a rise of 16.3% over October 2020.

Tuesday's assessment signaled that the economy is showing solid improvement, with total sales from August to October up more than 15% compared to the same period last year.

The report said retail trade sales is up 14.8%, food services and drinking is up 29.3% and gasoline station sales is up 46.8%. It also noted that physical department store sales rose 2.2% over September and Internet sales 4%.

Tuesday's statistics are welcome news for Americans and government policymakers who have grown concerned with rising inflation that's been caused primarily by ongoing COVID-19 recovery, supply chain problems and the high cost of fuel.

"While consumers were able to enjoy very strong purchasing power since the pandemic started, it has recently begun to shift," economists at Bank of America said, according to the New York Times. "Not because of a lack of income support, but because more of that income is forced to go to higher prices."

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