Despite the help of Uncle Sam and his $50 billion in rebate checks thus far, retail sales managed only a 0.1% gain for the month of June, well below expectations. Excluding automobile purchases, sales were up 0.8%, the slowest in three months. Excluding autos and gas purchases, and that number falls to 0.2%. Economists were expecting a 0.3% gain in total sales and a 1.1% gain ex-auto.
In the past year, retail sales are up 3.0%. The figures are not adjusted for price changes.
Auto sales dropped 3.3%, the biggest drop since February 2006.
Sales at furniture stores dropped 1.4%.
Sales at electronics stores fell 0.6%.
Sales at building materials stores fell 0.9%.
Sales of essentials were brisk, in part because of higher food and gas prices. Gas station sales rose 4.6%.
Food and beverage store sales rose 0.7%.
Sales at restaurants and bars dropped 0.2%.
Sales at drug stores and personal care stores rose 0.6%.
Sales at nonstore retailers, such as catalogs and online stores, rose 0.8%.
Sales at clothing stores rose 0.6%. Sales at general merchandise stores rose 0.4%.
Sales at sporting goods, book and hobby stores rose 0.7%.
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