Sept. 16 (UPI) -- There was a surprise surge in retail sales in the United States last month, when most analysts were expecting a significant economic decline, the Census Bureau showed in its monthly report Thursday.
According to the bureau's report, retail sales increased by 0.7% in August. Excluding vehicle sales, the increase was 1.8% over July.
The August figure marked a substantial improvement over the 1.8% decline in July and was 15.1% higher than August 2020.
The report said online sales increased 5.3%, sales of furniture and home furnishings were up 3.7% and general merchandise rose $3.5%.
Vehicle sales were down 3.6% for the month and sales of electronics and appliances declined 3.1%.