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Sep 15, 2009 10:00 AM by Associated Press

Retail sales rise more than expected in August

Retail sales jumped in August, spurred by widespread gains beyond the increases of autos and gasoline that economists expected. The report is a sign that consumers may be less cautious about spending as the economy recovers.

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent last month, after falling 0.2 percent in July. That beat analysts' expectations of a 2 percent increase, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Excluding autos, sales rose 1.1 percent, ahead of an expected 0.4 percent jump. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.6 percent. Sales rose at auto dealers due mainly to government's popular Cash for Clunkers program and at gas stations.

Electronics and appliance stores, department stores, and sporting goods stores also posted gains.

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