U.S. retail sales continued to rise in August, but expanding at a much slower pace.
In August, retail sales went up 0.2 percent from the previous month, with July's growth revised to 0.7 percent from an initial reading of 0.6 percent, said the Commerce Department on Tuesday. On a year-on-year basis, sales went up 2.2 percent in August.
Except for furniture, gasoline stations and department store sales, all the categories registered increases in August. Excluding volatile categories such as autos, sales increased 0.1 percent in August.
Retail sales account for about one third of consumer spending, the main engine of the economic activity. Many economists expect consumer spending growth will pick up pace in the coming months, with lower energy prices, improved labor market, and potentially faster wage growth.
Tuesday's data suggested consumers are benefiting from lower gas prices and may be looking past recent volatility in financial markets