Retail sales rose 1.4% in October, more than economists estimated, aided by strong auto sales, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Purchases excluding autos rose 0.2% for the month while sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers jumped 7.4%.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected retail sales to increase 0.9% in October and for sales excluding autos to increase 0.4%, according to the median estimate.

October sales were down 1.7% from a year ago.

Sales in September were revised downward to a 2.3% decline from an initially reported 1.5% drop.

Sales excluding autos were revised to show a 0.4% gain, down from the 0.5% rise that was initially reported.

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