City A.M. Reporter
AMERICANretail sales grew more than expected last month as vehicle purchases bounced back, but non-auto sales rose modestly, suggesting consumers remained too cautious to drive a robust economic recovery.<br /><br />Other data yesterday showed New York state manufacturing activity slowed in November for the first time in four months, further highlighting the uneven nature of economic healing after the worst recession since the 1930s. <br /><br />The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 1.4 per cent last month after dropping 2.3 per cent in September, beating an expected one per cent rise. Excluding cars, sales were up just 0.2 per cent after a 0.4 per cent rise the prior month.<br /><br />However, analysts were concerned with the sharp downward revision to September’s retail sales figure, which was previously reported as a 1.5 per cent drop. <br /><br />Analysts said the revision indicated the government would have to adjust downwards its third quarter growth estimates. <br /><br />Meanwhile, the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s gauge of New York State manufacturing activity slowed to 23.51 in November from 34.57 in October. Activity was pulled down by a fall in new orders, while the employment measure dropped sharply.