PhotoAfter posting two decent advances in a row, retail sales moved lower in August.

Figures released by the Commerce Department show sales last month totaled $474.8 billion, down 0.2% from July, but a gain of 3.2% from the same period a year earlier.

Major contributors to the August decline were motor vehicle & parts dealers (-1.6%), nonstore retailers (-1.1%), clothing & clothing accessories (-1.0%), and electronics & appliance stores (-0.7%).

Among businesses posting sales gains last month were gas stations (+2.5%), miscellaneous store retailers (+1.4%), furniture & home furnishings stores (+0.4%) and grocery stores (+0.3%).

The complete report may be found on the Commerce Department website.

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