U.S. retail sales rose unexpectedly in August as a pickup in purchases across most categories more than offset weakness at auto dealers, showing resilient consumer demand for merchandise.
The value of overall retail purchases climbed 0.7% last month following a downwardly revised 1.8% decrease in July, Commerce Department figures showed Thursday. Excluding autos, sales advanced 1.8% in August, the largest gain in five months.
The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.7% decline in overall retail sales, with forecasts ranging from a 3.3% drop to a 1.1% gain.
U.S. stock-index futures pared losses and bonds slipped after the report.
The surprising improvement in sales, underpinned in part by back-to-school shopping and payments for millions of families with children, suggests healthy demand for goods. The report showed firmer receipts