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Retail sales in the U.S. rose by slightly less than anticipated in the month of July, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, with the weaker than expected sales growth partly due to a notable drop in auto sales.
The report said retail sales edged up by 0.2 percent in July following an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in June. Economists had expected sales to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.4 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Excluding the 1.0 percent drop in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, however, retail sales rose by 0.5 percent in July compared to a 0.1 percent increase in June. The increase in ex-auto sales exceeded economist estimates for 0.4 percent growth.
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