WASHINGTON — Retail sales posted a 0.4% increase in October, and ex autos were up 0.2%, ex-autos and gas grew 0.3%. These were all better than expected in a good start to Q4 that shows little impact from the government's temporary closing.

Sales were boosted by a 1.0% rise in furniture, a 1.4% increase in electronics, a 0.5% gain in healthcare, a 1.6% jump in sporting goods, 1.4% growth in clothing, and a 1.0% gain in restaurants. Core sales (ex-auto, gas, and building materials) were up 0.5%, also suggesting Q4 is off to a good start.

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