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WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales rose modestly in October, evidence that recent job gains and lower gasoline prices are lifting consumer spending as the Christmas shopping season begins.

The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month after falling by the same amount in September. Excluding gas stations, where falling prices lowered spending, sales rose a solid 0.5 percent.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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