U.S. retail sales see surprise increase

U.S. retail sales rose unexpectedly by 0.7 percent in August, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. July’s increase was revised upward to 1.8 percent from the preliminary estimate. LBM and garden equipment sales rose 0.9 percent from July and 6.3 percent from August 2020. Excluding automobiles, August sales were up 1.8 percent.