By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. rose surprisingly in August by 0.3%, as a fall in gasoline prices prompted consumers to drop some of their recent caution with regard to other areas of spending.
Spending on autos and parts rose a hefty 2.8%, while there were also notable gains for general merchandise stores, hospitality venues and sporting goods shops.
Despite that, however, fell 0.3% on the month, a sign that the highest inflation in 40 years is depressing demand.
The figures have been made harder to interpret by the big drop in gasoline prices over the month, which eased the squeeze on consumers’ more disposable income. Sales at gas stations fell 4.2%, while sales excluding gasoline and autos rose 0.3%.
were up 9.1% from August last year, which equate to an increase of less than 1% when adjusted for inflation.