American consumers bought more in August than a month earlier, the US Department of Commerce reports.
Economists had actually expected a decrease, partly due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Demand for new cars decreased, but sales of many other products increased.
Retail sales rose 0.7 percent compared to July. In July, they fell 1.8 percent, which was more than originally reported.
That retail sales are holding up is good news for the US economy. While the number of corona infections is high, there have also been recent reopenings, and there was a risk that consumers would be more likely to spend their money on services such as travel and entertainment.
However, because this also meant that many children would physically go back to school, there was also a lot of shopping in preparation for this.
The number of applications for unemployment benefits rose again slightly last week to 332,000. Applications have been hanging around the 300,000 marks for some time now. The recent increase is probably related to Hurricane Ida, which forced many businesses in affected areas to close temporarily or otherwise.