Hurricane Sandy reduced U.S. retail sales in the northeast by about $4 billion last week, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

Retail sales, excluding automobiles, in the area affected by the storm were about $15 billion for the week ending Nov. 3, Michael McNamara, vice president of research, said in a telephone interview. The sales fell short of the researcher’s estimate of about $19 billion, he said.

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