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US retail sales rise in August on auto sales

Published:Monday | September 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Auto buying drove U.S. retail sales higher in August, a possible sign that job growth in recent months has led to accelerated consumer spending.

The Commerce Department said Friday that seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 0.6 per cent compared with the prior month. Sales are up five per cent in the past 12 months. July sales were also revised upward from flat to a 0.3 per cent increase.

Motor vehicles accounted for roughly half of the August increase. Buying also picked up at restaurants and for furniture, electronics, sporting goods and building materials.