Second straight drop in U.S. retail sales shows tepid spending

Second straight drop in U.S. retail sales shows tepid spending

Sales within the so-called retail control group have weakened for three straight months, and the decline in June indicates a weak finish to the first half of the year.

Retail sales fell 0.2 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 473.5 billion USA dollars in June, following a revised 0.1 percent decline in May, the Commerce Department said.

Sales at gasoline stations decreased 1.3% during the month but are up 0.3% from a year ago. Sales at nonstore retailers increased 0.4% from May, while increasing 9.2% year-over-year.

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- Purchases dropped 0.2 percent (forecast was 0.1 percent gain) after falling 0.1 percent the prior month (previously reported as 0.3 percent drop).

- Sales fell in six of 13 major retail categories in June. Retail sales rose 2.8 percent year-on-year in June. Sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers also inched up by 0.1 percent. Excluding volatile auto sales, total retail sales edged down 0.1 percent from the previous month.

Michael Pearce, a US economist at Capital Economics, said, "The decline in retail sales in June was fairly broad based and suggests that spending growth has lost a bit of momentum going into the third quarter".

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