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Minus cars, October showed uptick

WASHINGTON -- Hit by slumping car sales, U.S. retail sales dipped 0.1 percent during October to a seasonally adjusted $351.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported today.

But traffic at the malls was brisker than at the car lots, and when highly volatile car sales are pulled out of the equation, retail sales actually improved 0.9 percent.

Doing all of the damage, car sales fell 4.1 percent, offsetting gains at other retail segments. Furniture and home furnishings stores reported an increase of 0.7 percent.

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