The U.S. Retail Sales Report:: Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise 0.7% in August vs. Expected Decline of 0.8%

 Source: cnbc.com

Retail sales unexpectedly rise 0.7% in August vs. expected decline of 0.8%

Jeff Cox

Retail sales post a surprise gain in August despite fears that escalating Covid cases and supply chain issues would hold back consumers, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Sales increased 0.7% for the month against the Dow Jones estimate of a decline of 0.8%.

A separate economic report showed that weekly jobless claims increased to 332,000 for the week ended Sept. 11, according to the Labor Department. The Dow Jones estimate was for 320,000.

Economists had expected that consumers cut back their activity as the delta variant continued its tear through the U.S. Persistent supply chain bottlenecks also were expected to hold back spending as in-demand goods were hard to find.

However, sales were strong for most areas during the month. The headline number would have been even better without a 3.6% monthly drop in auto-related activity; excluding the sector, sales rose 1.8%, also well above the 0.1% expected gain.

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