U.S. retail sales show surprise gain in August after experts predicted decline

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The August figure marked a substantial improvement over the 1.8% decline in July and was 15.1% higher than August 2020. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

The August figure marked a substantial improvement over the 1.8% decline in July and was 15.1% higher than August 2020. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- There was a surprise surge in retail sales in the United States last month, when most analysts were expecting a significant economic decline, the Census Bureau showed in its monthly report Thursday.

According to the bureau's report, retail sales increased by 0.7% in August. Excluding vehicle sales, the increase was 1.8% over July.

Most analysts were expecting the report to show a decline of 0.8% for the month, believing that persistent COVID-19 cases and supply chain issues would hinder sales.

The August figure marked a substantial improvement over the 1.8% decline in July and was 15.1% higher than August 2020.

The report said online sales increased 5.3%, sales of furniture and home furnishings were up 3.7% and general merchandise rose $3.5%.

Vehicle sales were down 3.6% for the month and sales of electronics and appliances declined 3.1%.

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