WASHINGTON (AP) -- Retail sales plunged by the largest amount on record in October as the financial crisis and the slumping economy caused consumers to sharply cut back on their spending.
The Commerce Department says retail sales fell by 2.8 percent last month, surpassing the old mark of a 2.65 percent drop in November 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks that year.
The decline in sales was led by a huge drop in auto purchases, but sales of all types of products from furniture to clothing fell as consumers retrenched.
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