By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - US retail sales increased strongly in August, according to figures released Thursday by the Commerce Department.
Retail sales came in at $618.7 billion, up 0.7% from a revised level of $614.3 billion in July.
While analysts expected a 0.8% decline on a monthly level, the figure in July was revised down to a decline of 1.8%, from 1.1%.
The annual increase in August was 15.1%, compared to the same month of 2020.
"Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 38.8% from August 2020, while gasoline stations were up 35.7% from last year," the agency’s Census Bureau said in a statement.
On a monthly basis, most of the increase in August came from non-store retailers with 5.3%. This was followed by furniture stores with 3.7% and general merchandise stores with 2.6%.
High inflation continues to be a major problem for the American economy.
Consumer prices rose 0.3% in August on a monthly basis and jumped 5.3% on an annual basis. Producer prices were up 0.7% and 8.3%, respectively, according to the latest figures of the Labor Department.