mailtribune.com

Oct 13, 8:34 AM EDT

US retail sales leapt 1.6 pct. last month, most in 2 years


AP Photo
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Eurozone companies hiring at fastest pace in over a decade

Eurozone economy keeps up strong momentum toward year-end

Governor says change-resistant Indiana should think globally

British retail sales slip amid household income squeeze

Bank of Korea raises South Korea's outlook on strong exports

China's economic growth stays stable as ruling party meets

UK interest rates set to rise as inflation hits 3 percent

US retail sales leapt 1.6 pct. last month, most in 2 years

IMF: World economy is picking up speed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans increased their spending at retailers last month by the most in two and a half years, driven by strong auto sales as residents of hurricane-ravaged areas replaced destroyed cars.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 1.6 percent in September, after slipping 0.1 percent in August. Auto sales jumped 3.6 percent, the most since March 2015. Gas sales climbed 5.8 percent, the most in four and a half years, likely reflecting price spikes after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Even excluding the volatile auto and gas categories, sales rose a solid 0.5 percent, up from a 0.1 percent gain in August.

Consumers are optimistic about the economy, unemployment has hit a 16-year low, and wages have ticked up in recent months. That should boost spending in the coming months.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.