Retail sales unexpectedly edge higher in August despite soaring inflation

Retail sales rose 0.3% in August, the Commerce Department says. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected sales to be unchanged. The data comes as consumers face the worst inflation spike in a generation. Motor vehicle and parts dealers led all categories, jumping 2.8% last month, helping to offset a 4.2% decline in gasoline sales. The August advance is not adjusted for inflation, meaning that consumers may be spending the same but getting less bang for their buck. The Federal Reserve has responded to the inflation crisis with the most aggressive action in decades.

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