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Retail Sales Jump Record 7.1% in October

14 Nov, 2001 By: Hive News

For consumers, the thrill is back.

Favorable financing and heavy discounting helped consumers return to stores and businesses to boost October retail sales by 7.1%, the biggest one-month gain ever recorded.

The sales spike at retail stores followed a cutback in spending by consumers in September that sent sales down by 2.2%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Overall retail sales in October rose by 1%.

Car sales led the way in October, increasing a record 24.6%, as dealers offered zero financing. Clothing store sales increased by 6.9%; building and garden supply store sales rose by 2.8%, health and beauty store sales went up by 1.7%; sporting goods, books and music sales rose by 3%; electronics and appliances rose by 0.7%; bar and restaurant sales grew by 1.4%; while furniture and home furnishing store sales declined by 0.5%; and gas station sales fell by 6.4%, reflecting lower prices at the pump.

According to the Associated Press, October's 7.1% increase in total retail sales was the largest since the government began keeping retail sales records under the current classification system in 1992.

Retailers have struggling to revive sagging sales by heavily discounting merchandise and offering other incentives. As a result, discounters and other value-oriented stores continue to be among consumers' top shopping destinations.

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