Retail Sales Post Modest Increase In August

Friday, September 14th 2007, 7:44 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Retail sales posted a modest gain in August, helped by the biggest jump in auto sales in more than a year. But there are concerns that spending could falter as the steep slump in housing and financial market turbulence weigh on consumer confidence.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales increased 0.3 percent in August, compared to July, when sales had been up by 0.5 percent. The strength last month was led by a 2.8 percent jump in auto sales, the biggest increase since July 2006.

But a separate report Friday showed that consumer confidence, as measured by the RBC Cash Index, fell to 71.1 in early September, a sharp drop from an August reading of 89.3. It was the worst showing for the survey, done by polling firm Ipsos, since May 2006.