Retail sales in the United States surged at their strongest pace in seven months in September, the US Commerce Department reported Friday. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent from August, a much bigger advance than the 0.6 percent rise expected by most analysts, according to data which is adjusted for seasonal and other differences, but not for price changes. The department upwardly revised the August reading from virtually unchanged to a 0.3 percent increase. The September report showed sales were up 7.9 percent from September 2010; for the July-September third quarter, sales were up 8.0 percent. The gains were broad-based in September, Ryan Sweet at Moody\'s Analytics noted. \"Retail sales may have received some boost following Hurricane Irene but this appears to be a solid report. All told, real spending will rise in September, which sets us up well for growth this quarter,\" Sweet said.