13 December 2005, 17:02  U.S. Nov. retail sales rise 0.3% on rebound in autos

U.S. retail sales increased a modest 0.3% for the third straight month in November, as a rebound in auto sales offset a big decline in gasoline, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Including the upward revision to October's sales, November's total was a bit higher than economists' expectations of a 0.5% increase. Retail sales increased 6.3% year-over-year. Auto sales rose 2.6% in November after sinking 1.3% in October. Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.3%, the biggest decline in 19 months. Gasoline sales plunged 5.9% in November as the pump price fell. Excluding gasoline, retail sales rose 1%, the largest increase since July. Excluding both autos and gas, retail sales increased 0.5%.

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