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Retail sales improve in October

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual percent change in discretionary retail sales since 1992. Retail sales were up slightly in October and increased 7.2 percent from 2010.

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Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales showing a 0.5% increase from September and an increase 7.2% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services.

Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales increased 0.86% from September and increased 3.79% above the level seen in October 2010 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales increased 0.12% over the same period.

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