Retail Sales Rise More Than Expected, But . . .

By John S. McClenahen U.S. retail sales rose 0.2% in October, twice the 0.1% rate that economists generally expected, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Nov. 12. Sales were a seasonally adjusted $342.1 billion last month. However, notes Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, "all of the October gain and then some was in gasoline sales as prices at the pumped soared -- up 4.3% last month." Take out gasoline and retail sales actually fell 1%, figures David A. Rosenberg, Merrill's chief North American economist.

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