Shoppers have been out in force in America over August, with retail sales racking up their biggest gain in five months.
It is the second month in a row retail figures have seen a healthy rise. Sporting goods, hobby and book stores did well, as did clothing outlets, where sales rose by more than one percent.
Motor vehicles and parts sales went back into the red after rising in July, although nearly two percent more petrol was pumped. Building materials and garden equipment sales were flat, suggesting some stability in the housing market may be on the horizon.
More US states are offering tax holidays, and more stores are offering big discounts, but a lack of jobs and households paying off credit means an uncertain future for retail sales, 70 percent of the US economy.