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August 13, 2010 12:00 PM, EDT

Retail Sales Improve in July

Retail sales rose 0.4% in July, let by higher auto and gasoline sales, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The increase followed a revised 0.3% decline in June that was smaller than originally reported.

Economists had forecast a 0.5% gain in July, Bloomberg reported. Excluding automobiles, sales rose 0.2%.

Almost all trucking operations depend on the health of retail sales because such sales involve nearly every type of cargo.