Retail sales rose 0.9 percent July to August, pushed by stronger sales at gasoline stations, the U.S. Census Bureau said Friday.
Sales for the month, at a total of $406.7 billion, came to a 4.7 percent increase from August 2011.
From July, sales at gas stations rose 5.5 percent. From a year earlier, gas station sales were up 2.5 percent, the bureau said.
Sales of automobiles rose 1.7 percent on the month and 12.3 percent on an annual basis.
For August, food and beverage sales were flat, although they were up 2.3 percent from a year earlier. Sales of electronics and appliances dropped 1.4 percent month-to-month and 2.3 percent from August 2011.
Sales were also flat at grocery stores and sporting goods stores and slightly lower at clothing stores. Over the 12-month period, grocery store sales were up 2.1 percent, while sporting goods and clothing sales were both up 5.8 percent.
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