Finally, some good economic news. Retail sales rose 0.5 percent last month, the most they've risen since March. The government also revised sales higher for the two previous months. The numbers were better than expected, a good sign after consumers cut spending in June for the first time in 20 months. Many retailers said that back-to-school promotions had helped boost their sales in July. Target, Macy's, and Saks all reported higher-than-expected gains.