WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - With gasoline prices showing a substantial increase, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a significant jump in retail sales in the U.S. in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said retail sales surged up by 1.6 percent in September after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in August.
Economists had expected retail sales to spike by 1.7 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
Higher gas prices contributed to the jump in retail sales, as sales by gasoline stations soared by 5.8 percent during the month.
The report also showed a notable rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which surged up by 3.6 percent in September after tumbling by 2.1 percent.
Excluding the jump in auto sales, retail sales still shot up by 1.0 percent in September after climbing by 0.5 percent in August. Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent.
Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose by 0.4 percent.
With the monthly increase, the Commerce Department said total retail sales in September were up by 4.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
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