NEW YORK (AP) — Americans stepped up retail spending modestly from July to August as the price of gasoline jumped, cutting into budgets as many families send their kids off to school.

Retail sales rose 0.6% in August, compared with a revised 0.5% increase in July, according to a report issued by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

A closely watched category of retail sales that excludes auto dealers, gas stations and building materials and feeds into the gross domestic product increased just 0.1% last month compared to the prior month, after a revised 0.7% increase in July.

The big rise in gas prices accounted for more than half of the inflation increase recorded in August, the U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday.