The Commerce Department announced that sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted $362.7 billion. This is the first increase in two straight monthly declines. Sales fell an upwardly revised 0.3% in June. Most of the gain came from autos and gasoline. Excluding these two sectors, retail sales were down 0.1% in July. Excluding the 1.6% rise in motor vehicle sales, retail sales rose 0.2% to $299.7 billion, in line with expectations.