US retail sales fell 0.2 per cent in May, but weakness came from drop in gas prices - InfoNews

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US retail sales fell 0.2 per cent in May, but weakness came from drop in gas prices

FILE-In this Wednesday, May 30, 2012, photo, shoppers walk through the South Shore Mall in Braintree, Mass. U.S. retail sales declined in April and May, pulled down by a sharp drop in gas prices. But even after excluding volatile gas sales, consumers increased their spending only modestly. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
June 13, 2012 - 8:44 AM

WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales declined in April and May, pulled down by a sharp drop in gas prices. But even after excluding volatile gas sales, consumers increased their spending only modestly.

The Commerce Department says retail sales dipped 0.2 per cent in May. That followed a revised 0.2 per cent decline April. The back-to-back declines were the first in two years.

The weakness reflected a 2.2 per cent plunge in gasoline station sales. Still, excluding that category, retail spending rose just 0.1 per cent in May. And it dropped 0.1 per cent in April.

The flat spending suggests slow job growth and paltry wage increases may be leading consumers to pull back on spending.

Still, consumers spent more in May on big purchases — cars, furniture and appliances were among the categories to show increases.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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