US Retail Sales Stronger Than Forecast

US retail sales in August rose more than expected, amid rising auto spending and online sales.

Retail sales in August increased by 0.4% compared with the previous month, according to the Ministry of Commerce of the country.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average predicted a 0.2% increase in sales.

According to revised data, in July sales rose 0.8%, not 0.7%, as originally reported.

Retail sales excluding cars, gasoline and building materials (the “control group” is an indicator used to calculate US GDP) in August rose 0.3%, which is in line with the forecast.

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The August growth was due to a jump in car sales of 1.8% compared to the previous month. Auto sales growth has been highest since March.

Excluding cars and spare parts, retail sales in August did not change.

Automotive fuel sales at gas stations fell by 0.9%. Data is not adjusted for price changes.

Excluding automobiles and gasoline, retail sales rose 0.1% after rising 0.9% in July.

Online sales were up 1.6% after a 1.7% increase in July when Amazon held a Prime Day sale.

Sales in 6 of 13 major categories of retail products showed growth last month.

According to Vesti.Ekonomika, US GDP in the II quarter grew by 2% in terms of annual rates.

Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of US GDP, increased by 4.7% in April-June in terms of annual rates. Cost growth was highest since the fourth quarter of 2014.

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