U.S. retail sales beat estimates in September

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales climbed by 1.9 percent in September, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In a Reuters poll, economists had projected a September gain of just 0.7 percent. Sales of building materials and garden equipment rose by 0.6 percent for the month. Retail sales are now back above their February levels as the pandemic continues to encourage purchases for the home.