WASHINGTON: U.S. retail sales surged 1.7% last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.
Data for September was revised higher to show retail sales increasing 0.8% instead of 0.7% as previously reported. Sales have now risen for three straight months.
Unit motor vehicle sales increased in October for the first time in six months. The tight supply of automobiles because of a global semiconductor shortage has driven up motor vehicle prices, contributing to the rise in retail sales last month. Retail sales also received a boost from higher gasoline prices.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales shot up 1.6% last month after increasing 0.5% in September.