There was a 0.8 percent increase in retail sales in July from June, the Census Bureau says, thanks in part to gains in purchases of cars, furniture and appliances.
Overall, The Associated Press says, "all major categories showed increases, a sign that consumers may be gaining confidence." If that is indeed the case, it's good news for the economy. Consumers purchase about 70 percent of all goods and services.
Bloomberg News leads its report with this: "Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in July as consumer spending rebounded at department stores, auto dealers and electronics outlets, easing some concern the biggest part of the economy was foundering."
July's gain was the first monthly increase in four months.
Also this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in July from June. They were pushed up by a 0.5 percent increase in food costs. Prices of corn, soybeans and some other crops have been on the rise because this summer's drought across much of the nation has hurt production.