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Weaker Retail Sales Signal Smaller Spending Boost: Economy

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Retail sales dropped more than forecast in September on a broad pullback in spending that indicates American consumers provided less of a boost for the economy in the third quarter.

The 0.3 percent decrease followed a 0.6 percent August gain that was the biggest in four months, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Sales fell at auto dealers, furniture stores, building-supply outlets and clothing merchants. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.1 percent drop.