US retail sales up 0.3% in August from previous month

US retail sales rose in August despite forecasts of a flat reading. Consumers in the world's biggest economy apparently remained optimistic even as inflation hovers at four-decade highs.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales rose 0.3 percent from July to total over 680 billion dollars.

It said sales of motor vehicles and parts increased 2.8 percent, while spending at restaurants rose over 1 percent.

Meanwhile, sales at gas stations fell more than 4 percent due to a drop in gasoline prices. Furniture sales fell 1.3 percent, and the figure for online shopping was down 0.7 percent.
There had been concern that soaring prices would discourage consumers from spending. The retail sales figure will likely have an effect on the Fed's rate hike decisions.