On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.3 percent from July to August (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 1.9% from August 2015.
From the Census Bureau report:
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $456.3 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent from the previous month, and 1.9 percent above August 2015. … The June 2016 to July 2016 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged to up 0.1 percent.
This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales and food service, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).
Retail sales ex-gasoline were down 0.3% in August.
The second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993.
The decrease in August was below expectations of no change for the month.