August Retail Sales Beat Economists' Forecasts

A report issued by the Commerce Department Tuesday revealed good news for the U.S. economy, but may lead to another hike in interest rates later this year.

The government said that retail sales increased 1.2 percent in August, the strongest sales gain since February 1999. Analysts had forecasted a 0.8 percent increase for August.

Auto sales took the lead and increased 2.5 percent. New car sales are now up 19 percent compared to August 1998. Clothing sales also increased, up 1.3 percent after a 0.9 percent decline in July.

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which is undoubtedly watching these reports very closely.


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