- Consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in August, mainly due to more expensive gasoline. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says most of the bump up came from its gas index, which jumped nine percent. There were lesser increases in other energy products, such as fuel oil, natural gas and electricity. The core rate of inflation, which discounts food and energy, was up 0.1 percent in August. The agency says that's the same rate as July.
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.
The jobs gain was the best in five months and was much better than the revised estimated of growth for June — a gain of just 64,000 jobs. But it wasn't good enough to keep the jobless rate from rising slightly. In June, it stood at 8.2 percent.