Retail Sales Jump Up. Citigroup Wants Government Out.

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Retail sales jumped up 2.7 percent last month, thanks to the largest increase in auto sales in nearly eight years. Sales at automobile dealerships and parts stores increased 11 percent, largely due to the government's cash-for clunkers program. Purchases not including automobiles also rose by 1.1 percent.

Citigroup wants to reduce the government's stake in the bank. The Wall Street Journal (sub req'd) reports that executives are working on plans for a multi-billion-dollar stock offering to the public.

Wholesale prices paid to factories, farmers and other producers were up 1.7 percent in August. Energy costs rose 8 percent, led by gasoline.

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