U.S. retail sales rose less than expected last month as consumers remained cautious about spending the windfall of lower gas prices. The Commerce Department said that retail sales rose 0.1% last month, after no change in September. Seven of 13 major retail categories showed gains last month, led by building-material stores, restaurants and non-store merchants, which include Internet sales. Receipts at gasoline stations dropped 0.9% after falling 4% in September, pushing the value of sales over the past 12 months down 20.6%. There was also a surprise 0.5% fall in sales at car dealerships, after a 1.4% increase in September. The weaker retail sales figures heightened concerns that consumer spending, which has underpinned U.S. growth this year, may be slowing going into the 4th quarter.
Source: The Private Bank