Retail sales in the US fell by more than expected in the month of September, according to a report released by the Commerce Department, with the decrease partly reflecting the recent drop in gasoline prices.
According to the report, retail sales dropped by 0.3% in September after increasing by 0.6% in August.
The bigger than expected drop in retail sales was partly due to a continued decline in sales by gas stations, which slid by 0.8% in September after tumbling by 1.1% in August.
Falling gas prices contributed to the continued drop in sales by gas stations, although analysts noted that lower prices at the pump can contribute to increased spending in other areas.
The report also showed a notable pullback in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which fell by 0.8% in September after jumping by 1.9% in August.
Excluding the drop in auto sales, retail sales still fell by 0.2% in September compared to a 0.3% increase in the previous month.
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Sales of clothing and accessories stores, building materials and equipment dealers, and non-store retailers also showed significant decreases for the month.
Core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, also fell by 0.2% in September compared to expectations for a 0.4% increase.
The agency noted that total retail sales in the month of September were up by 4.3% compared to the same month a year ago. Sales were up 5% year-over-year in August.