US retail sales unexpectedly drop for a second month in June

Receipts weaken at department stores, sporting goods outlets and restaurants

US department store sales tumbled 0.7%  in June. They are being undercut by online retailers. Photograph: Getty Images

US department store sales tumbled 0.7% in June. They are being undercut by online retailers. Photograph: Getty Images

 

US retail sales unexpectedly dropped for a second month in June, signalling consumers are providing only modest support for the US economy, US commerce department data showed on Friday.

Purchases dropped 0.2 per cent compared to a forecast 0.1 per cent gain after falling 0.1 per cent in May. That is less dramatic than the 0.3 per cent slippage originally reported.

The figures suggest households remain cautious about spending and may provide less of a boost for the second-quarter economy after a weak start to the year. Receipts weakened at department stores, sporting goods outlets and restaurants.

Department store sales tumbled 0.7 per cent. They are being undercut by online retailers led by Amazon. com. That has led to some retailers, including Macy’s, Sears and Abercrombie & Fitch, to announce shop closures. Sales at online retailers rose 0.4 per cent last month after increasing 0.8 per cent in May.

Receipts at restaurants and bars fell 0.6 per cent, the biggest drop in six months. Food and beverage store sales declined 0.4 per cent, also the largest fall in six months.

Bloomberg