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Retail Sales Unchanged in September as Consumers Spend More on Clothing, Food and Health Care | Economy
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Retail Sales Unchanged in September as Consumers Spend More on Clothing, Food and Health Care | Economy

Retail sales held steady in September, the Census Bureau reported on Friday.The number, not adjusted for inflation, compares to a 0.4% increase in August, which was revised upward from the earlier estimate of 0.3%.Year over year, retail sales increased 8.2%.Leading the rise were sales of groceries, clothing and health and personal care items.Analysts had expected sales to increase by 0.2%.Retail analysts say that consumers have been switching their spending habits as inflation, now running at an annual rate of 8.2%, takes a bigger bite out of everyday purchases like food, gasoline and medicine.The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, has been driving up the cost of credit, with mortgage rates now double what they were a year ago.Surveys by private firms who track spending through credit card sal...