NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Retail sales surged in August, with the Cash for Clunkers program giving auto sales an extra boost, the government reported Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said total retail sales jumped 2.7% last month, compared with July’s revised decline of 0.2%. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com predicted August sales increased 2%.
Sales excluding autos and auto parts rose 1.1%, compared to a 0.6% decrease in July. Economists expected a gain of 0.4% in August sales, excluding auto purchases.
“With broad-based gains, it’s hard to say any sector is a standout, which is great,” said Adam York, analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. “We had promising core numbers, but we don’t want to call a trend out of one month.”