U.S. retail sales rose in August as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods, which should ease some concerns about consumer spending and support expectations for sturdy growth in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales increased 0.6 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in July.
The increase in retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, was in line with economists’ expectations.
July’s retail sales were previously reported to have been flat.
So-called core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, increased 0.4 percent in August.