Fueled in part by strong sales at automotive retailers and gasoline stations U.S. retail sales grew by more than expected in August, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department.
Commerce Department figures put the advance estimate of retail sales for August at a seasonally adjusted level of $406.7 billion, a 0.9 percent increase from revised July levels and the strongest monthly growth since February.
Although July retail sales were revised down to 0.6 percent growth from the 0.8 percent growth initially reported, the August growth was nevertheless higher than even the strong 0.8 percent growth predicted by most economists.
Excluding the automotive sector, retail sales for August remained up a strong 0.8 percent, matching the expectations of most economists. Excluding gasoline sales, the retail growth was a weaker 0.3 percent.
Excluding sales in both the automotive and gasoline sectors, August retail sales were up a mere 0.1 percent, notably below the 0.4 percent growth predicted by most economists.
by RTT Staff Writer
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