U.S. retail sales rose sharply in September, reflecting higher consumer confidence and improvement in the job market. Consumers bought more cars, gasoline and electronics.
The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September after a 1.2 percent in August, which was revised higher. Both increases were the largest since October 2010.
Electronics and appliance store sales rose 4.5 percent, in part because Apple released its latest iPhone last month. Sales increased 1.3 percent at auto dealers and 2.5 percent at gas stations, reflecting higher prices. Excluding autos and gas, sales were still up a solid 0.9 percent in September.
There were gains in most areas although department stores saw a 0.2 percent drop following no change in August.