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Consumer Spending Rises in October; Wholesale Prices Drop

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In what could be a good precursor to the holiday shopping season, retail sales rose in October for the fifth month in a row, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The Commerce Department says last month's increase was 0.5 percent -- a fairly strong showing. The figure is the first indicator of fourth quarter growth.

Meanwhile, another report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday shows that wholesale prices dropped 0.3 percent in October, with companies paying less for gas and new cars, among other goods.  The drop in the Producer Price Index is a sign of less inflation.

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