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Retail sales September 2020

A woman shapes a Stetson hat in front of clients while wearing a mask at the manufacture store on July 20, 2020, in Garland, Texas, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Valerie Macon | AFP | Getty Images

Consumers spent a much faster pace than expected in September, with retail sales rising 1.9% in a sign that the U.S. economy’s biggest driver remains healthy.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected sales to rise 0.7%, up from a 0.6% rise in August.

Excluding autos, the gain amounted to 1.5%, which also was better than the 0.4% estimate.

Clothing and accessories led the gains, rising by 11%, while sporting goods, music and books jumped 5.7%. Electronics and appliances was the only major sector that was negative, dropping 1.6% from the August levels.

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