U.S. retail sales excluding autos posted a small gain in September vs. the previous month. However, retail sales in September were still significantly lower than sales for the same month in 2008, the government reported this morning.
Excluding autos, U.S. retail sales rose 0.5% in September from August. Sales fell 4.9% from September 2008.
Including autos, sales fell 1.5 percent from August after the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program ended. Sales fell 5.7% vs. September 2008 when autos are included.