US consumer spending rose in August as gas prices fell

US consumer spending rose in August as gas prices fell

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Why Bed Bath & Beyond is in big trouble 00:58 (CNN Business)Another month of falling gas prices gave Americans' wallets a bit of a reprieve in August. That sent consumers back to stores last month.

The Census Bureau reported Thursday that a key measure of August US retail sales rose unexpectedly by 0.3% on a monthly basis, following a revised decrease of 0.4% in July. Retail sales, which are not adjusted for inflation, were up by 9.8% from a year ago.The continued decline in gas prices was reflected by a 4.2% drop for the month on spending at gas stations. Backing out this volatile component, sales rose by 0.8% for the month. Persistently high food inflation showed up in a 0.2% increase in spending at grocery stores on a month-over-month basis. The strong reading, indicating a resilient consumer, is likely to give more ammunition to the Federal Reserve, which has been raising interest rates in a bid to tamp down the highest inflation in 40 years. Consumer prices in August rose by 8.3% over the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.This story is developing and will be updated.

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