Yahoo! News – Retail Sales: Larger-Than-Expected Fall: “The June decline was the largest since a matching 1.1 percent drop in February 2003. Stripping out a large decline in auto sales, retail purchases fell a smaller 0.2 percent. Both measures were weaker than anticipated by Wall Street economists who had projected a smaller 0.6 percent fall overall and a 0.2 percent rise in sales aside from autos.

Taking some of the sting out of the report, however, were upward revisions to May sales data. The Commerce Department said May sales were up 1.4 percent overall and 0.9 percent excluding the auto sector. May retail sales had previously been reported as up 1.2 percent overall and up 0.7 percent ex-autos.

While prices at the pump have come down slightly in recent weeks, economists had expected them to drag on consumer spending in June. As gas prices rise, consumers have less money to spend on other items. “

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