McDonald’s posted a stronger-than-expected 8.5% rise in global same store sales in August helped by growth in Europe and increased marketing during the Olympics. The rise surprised analysts who had been expecting a lower increase as consumers cut back on their spending faced with a potential recession. The fast-food giant reported an 11.6% rise in same store sales in Europe last month and a 4.5% increase in like-for-like sales in the US as Americans traded down to cheaper restaurant food. In the US, the company benefited from the launch of a dollar menu and a marketing campaign for its breakfast menu. The 11.6% rise in same store sales in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa was helped by promotions tied to the Olympics in Beijing.