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Retail Sales Surprise to the Upside

This morning's report of retail sales for October showed yet more evidence that the US economy is awakening from its summer siesta.  Overall retail sales rose 1.4% month-over-month compared to expectations for a gain of only 0.7%.  On a year-over-year basis (y/y), retail sales rose 7.3% in October, which is still off from its 8.7% high in April.  

Breaking out retail sales by category shows that much of this month's strength can be attributed to the Auto sector where sales increased 5.03% in October alone.  The only other sector that saw stronger growth than the headline number was Building Materials.  While the strong uptick in Building Materials is encouraging for the housing sector, the good news was partially offset by the decline in Furniture.  Furniture was only one of four sectors to see a month-over-month decline.

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