US Retail Sales Top Forecasts in August as Auto, Online Purchases Rise

Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on September 13, 2019
A jump in U.S. retail sales in August was partially driven by strong auto sales.

US retail sales climbed more than expected last month driven by purchases at auto dealers and online retailers, however an underlying gauge of consumer demand grew at its slowest pace in six months.

Headline retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in August, the Commerce Department said on Friday, exceeding economists’ expectations for a 0.2 per cent increase, according to a Reuters poll.

That followed a revised 0.8 per cent rise the previous month, (previously 0.7 per cent), when sales were given a boost by Amazon’s Prime Day promotions.

August’s jump was driven by strong sales of motor vehicles and online retailers that was partially offset by weakness at restaurants, clothing stores and petrol stations.

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