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U.S. retail sales rise 0.2% in August; furniture up 0.9%

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail and food service sales rose for the fifth consecutive month in August but the increase was less than expected, according to business reports.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported sales increased an estimated 0.2% from July to $426.6 billion. The median forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey was 0.5%, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Furniture and home furnishings stores sales increase 0.9% from the month before to $8.54 billion but were up 4.9% from $8.14 billion for August 2012, according to the report. 

Retail and food service sales for the June through August period were up 5.4% from the same period a year ago, the report said.

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