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Friday 20th of February 2009
November 16, 2008

US retail sales plummet during October


by Kay Murchie
”US

According to figures from the US Commerce Department, retail sales in the US fell 2.8% in October, the biggest monthly decline for 16 years.

The October fall follows a 1.3% decline in September and is further proof that shoppers continue to tighten their purse strings amid the economic downturn and falling house prices.

During the last two weeks, US chain stores, including Macy’s and Best Buy, have issued profit warnings for the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, Circuit City, the No. 2 US electronics retailer, has suffered heavily due to falling sales and has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Furniture, home furnishings and car sales also suffered as consumers opted to buy essential items only.

However, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, exceeded analysts‘ forecasts by announcing a surprising 2.4% increase in sales for the month.

However, despite the fall in retail sales, a separate survey by Reuters and University of Michigan established that US consumer confidence rose slightly to 57.9 in November from a 57.6 in October.

However, the figure is still below the lowest levels reached during the last two recessions in the US.

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