U.S. Retail Sales Improve

Consumer boost spending

Retail sales rose a stronger-than-expected 0.6% in September. Excluding vehicle sales, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose an improved 0.4% in September.

The latest readings on consumer spending defied expectations as most economists were anticipating a 0.2% rise in overall retail sales and a 0.3% increase in sales excluding autos.

The better-than-expected report on retail sales came after the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, said on Oct. 11 it was hiking its earnings forecast for the third quarter.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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