Americans Shy Away from Cars

Retail sales probably stalled in September as Americans shied away from auto showrooms, indicating the economy was cooling ahead of the partial federal shutdown, economists said before reports this week.

Economists forecast no change in purchases, the worst reading in six months, after a 0.2 percent advance in August, according to the Bloomberg survey median ahead of Commerce Department figures due Oct. 29. Sales excluding motor vehicle dealers may have increased 0.4 percent in September, a sign other merchants had more success luring customers.

Faster hiring and wage growth are needed to spur demand that may have weakened further in October as the 16-day government shutdown caused consumer sentiment to falter. Other reports may show manufacturing cooled, job gains decelerated and inflation remained tame, giving the Federal Reserve reason to maintain stimulus at this week’s meeting.


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