By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABERWASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers ramped up their spending last month in a sign of robust health heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. Retail sales rose 0.8 percent in October, after an upwardly-revised 1 percent gain in September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The two-month increase was the largest since the spring of 2014. The numbers suggest that the economy may grow more quickly in the final three months of the year than many economists had expected. Retail sales are closely watched as a sign of consumer health. Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy. Steady hiring and emerging signs of solid pay increases have made Americans more confident and willing to spend. The unemployment rate fell last month to a low 4.9 percent and in October, workers saw the biggest annual pay gain since the end of the recession. And while many companies, such as Dunkin Donuts, blamed their own weak sales figures in the late summer and fall on consumer concerns surrounding the election, Tuesday's figures show that the presidential campaign had little impact overall. "If electoral uncertainty were restraining activity prior to last Tuesday, it is nowhere apparent in the consumer spending data," JPMorgan Chase economist Michael Feroli said. Revisions to September and August data indicate that consumers spent more than previously estimated in the July-September quarter, Feroli said. That means growth in the third quarter may have been as high as 3.2 percent, he estimated, above the 2.9 percent figure reported last month. Some of the biggest sales increases were in autos and gas, with higher prices boosting gas station sales. Even excluding those categories, however, sales rose 0.6 percent in October and 0.5 percent the previous month. Auto sales rose a healthy 1.1 percent, though many dealers relied on steep discounts. Sales of home and garden supplies also rose 1.1 percent in October, a positive sign that more Americans are remodeling and expanding their homes.