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October Retail Sales Rise More Than Forecast

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Shoppers opened their purses more than expected in October, as retail sales climbed 1.2 percent, the most in seven months. The rise in consumer purchasing was the biggest gain since March, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday. The October number was strong compared with the 0.7 percent jump most economists were expecting.

Americans are shopping again, which means the sputtering economic recovery is getting a much-needed jolt. Companies are capitalizing on the shopping spirit, offering incentives to get customers to spend. Just this week, Wal-Mart announced it will offer free shipping on some 60,000 items over the holidays.

The retail industry is on the path to hiring the most seasonal workers since 2006. In October alone, stores hired 150,900 workers, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. That's three times more jobs than last year at this time, when just 47,600 holiday jobs were added.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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