Retail sales rose 0.6% in August, compared with a revised 0.5% increase in July, according to a report issued by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
Excluding gas, retail sales were just up 0.2% for August, according to the report. Sales at gas stations rose a robust 5.2%, while furniture and home furnishings stores saw a 1% drop in sales. Clothing and accessories stores had a 0.9% gain, likely helped by back-to-school spending. Restaurants saw a 0.3% increase. Grocery stores had a 0.4% sales increase. Online sales were unchanged in August.
The uptick in retail sales reflects the economy’s resiliency despite a still tough economic environment. Yet spending has been volatile this year after surging nearly 3% in January. Sales tumbled in February and March before recovering in the spring and summer.