US retail sales dropped for the first time in four months in October. On a monthly basis, retail sales fell by 0.3% M/M, slightly weaker than forecast (-0.2% M/M). The previous month’s figure was upwardly revised from 1.1% M/M to 1.3% M/M. The breakdown shows a mixed picture as sales of building materials (-1.9% M/M), motor vehicles and parts (-1.5% M/M), electronics (-1.0% M/M), furniture (-0.6% M/M), eating & drinking (-0.4% M/M) and clothing (-0.1% M/M) dropped, while also sales at non-store retailers (-1.8% M/M) dropped in October. Gasoline station sales (1.4% M/M), sales of food & beverages (0.8% M/M), sporting goods (0.5% M/M) and health & personal care (0.3% M/M) rose during the month. Retail sales excluding autos and gas surprised on the downside of expectations, falling by 0.3% M/M, while an increase by 0.4% M/M was expected. Also the “control group” fell by 0.1% M/M after a 0.9% M/M increase in September. The US Commerce Department said that it cannot isolate the effect of the hurricane Sandy on the October retail sales, but added that it received indications that the storm had both positive and negative effects on sales. Overall, the report was somewhat weaker than expected especially in the core components, but the hurricane Sandy will probably boost the November sales due to a rebound in building materials and vehicle sales.