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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Statement on Retail Sales in September 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Statement on Retail Sales in September 2009

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau today released retail sales for September 2009. Retail sales fell 1.5 percent, primarily reflecting a 10.4 percent decline in motor vehicle sales. The drop in total sales was smaller than the decrease of 2.1 percent expected by private analysts. Gasoline sales rose 1.1 percent, and sales excluding motor vehicles and gasoline increased 0.4 percent. In the third quarter as a whole, total retail sales rose 6.4 percent at an annual rate, and sales excluding the volatile motor vehicle and gasoline components rose 0.6 percent.

“Retail sales in the third quarter saw its strongest gain in almost two years, due to the successful ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The healthy increase in sales excluding motor vehicles and gasoline over the past two months indicates that consumers are gaining confidence and spending is beginning to rebound. But much work remains. More stimulus spending in the coming months should further promote an upturn and put more Americans back to work.”