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Business Briefing / Retail

Consumers push sales up in August

September 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Retail sales in August jumped 2.7% from the previous month, beating many economists' expectations, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Auto sales led the way with a 10.6% gain from July as consumers rushed to trade in their old vehicles and receive a federal credit toward more fuel-efficient ones.

But economists also cautioned that such government stimulus inflated last month's results and masked the underlying weakness in consumer demand. Last month's boost in consumer spending is widely expected to help lift the country out of the recession for the third quarter.

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