US retail sales grew at a slower pace than economists had predicted last month — prompting worries about a "difficult winter" with lower consumer spending before a recovery next year.
Retail sales increased by 0.3% to $553.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in October, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. That's below expectations of a 0.5% increase, and it's down from a revised 1.6% in September.
Boosting that figure significantly were sales of cars and car parts. They have been buoyant since the summer and continued to increase at a faster rate last month, pushing the overall sales numbers up. Stripping out cars, retail sales increased only 0.2% in October.
Meanwhile non-store sales, such as online purchases, jumped 3.1%. Economists said that was probably largely due to Amazon's Prime Day in mid-October. In-store sales declined further.