Gas prices and sales rose in July, according to government reports.
Retail sales were up 0.4 percent last month, according to the Commerce Department. That's different from June and May, when retail sales fell. But July's real sales gains are mainly from autos and fuel. People bought more cars and drove right to the gas station: gas station sales jumped 2.3 percent. When gas and energy sales are factored out, July retail sales dropped 0.1 percent.
Consumer prices increased 0.3 percent in July, but again, the gain is found in energy costs. Gas prices alone soared 4.6 percent. The Labor Department says if volatile food and energy prices are not counted, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent.