Retail Sales Rise 0.6% in August, Exceeding Expectations

The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for August revealed a 0.6% increase in headline sales compared to July, marking the fifth consecutive month consumer spending has increased. The latest figure surpassed expectations of 0.2% monthly growth.

Retail Sales Month Over Month

Here is the introduction from today's report:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August 2023, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $697.6 billion, up 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and up 2.5 percent (±0.7 percent) above August 2022. Total sales for the June 2023 through August 2023 period were up 2.2 percent (±0.4 percent) from the same period a year ago. The June 2023 to July 2023 percent change was revised from up 0.7 percent (±0.5 percent) to up 0.5 percent (±0.2 percent).

Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from July 2023, and up 1.6 percent (±0.5 percent) above last year. Gasoline stations were down 10.3 percent (±1.1 percent) from last year, while food services and drinking places were up 8.5 percent (±2.3 percent) from August 2022.