Retail sales increased 0.4% for August 2010, but July 2010 was revised down to 0.3%. The increase is all necessities, gas, up 1.9% for the month, groceries, up 1.4% and clothing up 1.2%. Auto sales & dealers were down -1.1% for the month. Electronics down -1.1%.
For the year, retail sales have increased 3.5%. On a quarterly basis, retail sales ae down -0.5% in comparison to the March to May 2010 time period.
The below graph is retail sales excluding autos, with minus autos & parts, retail sales increased 0.6%.
The below graph is retail trade sales monthly change, minus food sales.
The press seems to think this report is some great news, retail sales did stay positive in comparison to last month's report. Almost identical numbers yet last month the financial press thought retail sales were terrible news. What this does imply is consumer spending, a huge part of GDP, will be positive for Q3 2010, but one can see from the graph, this is no blow out.