United States: Unexpected increase in retail sales in August

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales enjoyed an unexpected rebound in August as lower fuel prices appeared to benefit other categories, official statistics showed on Thursday.

The Commerce Department reported a 0.3% rise in sales from July as economists polled by Reuters on average forecast stagnation.

July sales, unchanged in the first estimate, show after revision a drop of 0.4%.

Excluding autos, fuels, building materials and food services, retail sales were flat last month. Those for July have been revised downwards and only show an increase of 0.3% against +0.8% in the first estimate.

This category is the closest to that used for the calculation of the consumption component in the gross domestic product (GDP) statistics.

(Report Lucia Mutikani; French version Marc Angrand and Claude Chendjou, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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