American retail sales surge in October

American retail sales jumped by 1.2% in October compared with September, growing at their fastest rate since March, according to the US Census Bureau.

Private sector expectations had been for sales to rise 0.7%, but a monthly 5% surge in car sales led to the better-than-expected number.

“Today’s retail sales data continue to show improving consumer confidence in the economic recovery”

According to the government agency, October’s jump in retail sales marks the fourth consecutive month of strong growth.

Gary Locke, the commerce secretary, said in a statement: “Today’s retail sales data continue to show improving consumer confidence in the economic recovery.

“Over the past month, we have seen a series of positive economic reports, including new car sales, manufacturing and employment. As we approach the holiday season, private-sector forecasts show that US retailers will see a boast in sales.” (article continues below)

Other areas that did well were sales of building and gardening equipment, which rose 1.9% over the month.