Retail Sales Fall 0.2% in May


Retail sales fell for a second straight month in May as demand for building materials tumbled and declining gasoline prices weighed down on receipts at service stations, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Retail sales slipped 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said, after easing by the same margin in April. Sales in April had previously been reported to have edged up 0.1 percent.

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The drop last month was in line with expectations. Motor vehicle sales surprisingly rose 0.8 percent, although manufacturers reported weak unit sales during the month.

Excluding autos, sales fell 0.4 percent, the biggest decline in two years, after dropping 0.3 percent the prior month.

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