Retail sales jumped 0.4 percent last month, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, handily exceeding the 0.1 percent month-over-month increase anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. And the September performance, which caused deep concern when initially reported as a 0.1-percent decline, was revised up to reflect no change.
In total, October sales reached $428.1bn, a 3.9-percent boost from October 2012.
Americans may be feeling wealthier because of stock market gains, cheaper fuel and indications of an improving economy, according to Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee. Tepid employment expansion and minimal income growth in recent quarters don't seem to be quelling consumers' willingness to spend, she wrote in a note to clients.
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