It says higher sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector, and the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, led the increase.
Food, beverage and tobacco sales rose 2.3 per cent to $9.5 billion, based solely on a 2.7 per cent increase in the food industry, which posted its biggest increase since February 2010.
Machinery, equipment and supplies sales rose 1.4 per cent, the fourth increase in five months.
Sales were off 1.9 per cent in the miscellaneous subsector and the motor vehicle and parts and the personal and household goods subsectors also recorded declines.
Sales rose in eight provinces in August, with Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec accounting for most of the national increase.