U.S. retail sales jumped by 0.7 percent in August, an unexpected report amid waning consumer confidence and a poor July performance from the sector, Reuters reports.
The surprise sales increase was likely fueled by back-to-school shopping and child tax credit payments from the government, the article says. Online purchases were the key driver of the sales, helping offset a slumping auto sector beset by a global microchip shortage.
The August numbers follow a July report that said retail sales in the U.S. declined 1.8 percent.
“U.S. consumption is not slowing as quickly as it appeared a month ago despite the fading stimulus, and the Delta variant did not much affect the industries feeding into retail sales,” Chris Low, Chief Economist at FHN Financial in New York, told the outlet. “The economy continued to hum in August”.